About 750 Lee University freshmen, along with their Gateway class instructors and peer leaders, recently participated in the annual Pack ‘n’ Stack party in the Paul Dana Walker Arena.
Over the past 21 years, Lee has collected 37,634 boxes as part of Operation Christmas Child (OCC). This year, Lee students packed a total of 2,841 boxes during the Pack ‘n’ Stack event, surpassing the goal of 40,000 boxes.
“I am thankful for the commitment of our instructors, peer leaders, and students to go beyond the box and see the impact the gifts they offered can have around the world for the kingdom,” said Alex Staup, coordinator of first year programs.
“We firmly believe in one of our core driving statements for Operation Christmas Child at Lee: we don’t see boxes, we see faces.”
The speaker for the night’s event was Mary Beth Canida, a freshman marketing management major at Lee. She has been involved with OCC for several years and served as relations coordinator this year. She recently attended an OCC Vision trip abroad to the Republic of Georgia, experiencing firsthand the opportunity to hand out the boxes.
“Everything packed, from a toothbrush to a jacket, is extremely special to these children and will be used as a tangible example of God’s love for them,” said Canida. “For some of the children, this is the first gift they have ever received, and it gives them some items to call their own.”
The Pack ‘n’ Stack party, which is organized for freshman Gateway classes, included 87 peer leaders, 42 Gateway instructors, and students involved with the Student Leadership Council at Lee.
The mission of Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child is to fill as many shoebox-sized boxes as possible with Christmas gifts to be distributed to children in need around the world.
For more information about Operation Christmas Child, visit https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/.