by Angela Farlow, Student Public Relations Writer
Cedarville University’s Operation Christmas Child (OCC) organization will host its annual packing party on November 1 from 7-9 p.m. in the Center for Biblical and Theological Studies (BTS) atrium. The event is open to the public.
The event will bring together Cedarville students and residents from the village of Cedarville and surrounding communities to pack 1,000 shoeboxes to send to children in other countries during Christmas time.
The campus organization was started in 2016 by Cedarville students Adrienne Krater and Claire Hoyt. They were passionate about the mission of Operation Chrismas Child, which is a branch of Samaritan's Purse.
According to its website, OCC provides shoeboxes to children around the world filled with small toys, hygiene items and school supplies as a means to share the message of Jesus. Krater and Hoyt felt it would be valuable to spread awareness of Operation Christmas Child to the Cedarville University community and support it by packing shoeboxes.
— Emily Brubaker
Current ministry co-leader Emily Brubaker, a Cedarville University junior, has worked hard to make sure this tradition continues. Brubaker explained that the organization works all year to prepare for the fall packing party. “The goal of our packing party is to fill 1,000 shoeboxes, and anything over would be so exciting,” she said.
“This will be my third year involved with the organization,” said Brubaker. “I have loved packing shoeboxes since I was a little girl, so it is so fun to continue this tradition.”
Brubaker and other organization members raise funds throughout the year in order to purchase items to put in the boxes.
Students host a coin drive at the beginning of the school year where they walk around to different residence halls on campus asking students to support the mission.
In addition to campus support, the organization contacts several churches around the area, such as Grace Point Fellowship in Franklin and Grace Baptist Church in Cedarville, to donate items for the boxes.
On the night of the packing party several representatives from the Xenia Operation Christmas Child office and Cedarville students gather to equip volunteers to pack all the boxes. Throughout the night volunteers pray over the boxes they are packing while enjoying being part of the mission. “One of the best parts of Operation Christmas Child is that they also share the gospel with the kids that receive the shoeboxes,” noted Brubaker. “We have an opportunity to reach 1,000 kids to tangibly show them the love of Christ. What a small way to make the biggest impact.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,380 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.