Over 600 Lee University freshmen and their Gateway class instructors and peer leaders participated in the annual Operation Christmas Child Pack ‘n’ Stack service event in the Paul Dana Walker Arena.
The weeks prior to the event, Gateway classes fundraised for supplies to pack in the shoeboxes. During the event, students packed shoeboxes filled with these items. Over the past 24 years, Lee has collected 42,405 boxes for OCC. This year, students packed a total of 3,620 boxes, surpassing the goal of 2,050.
“Each Gateway class raised money to purchase supplies to pack their class shoeboxes, and many classes were able to collect over $1,000,” said Jennifer Cornett, director of First Year Programs at Lee. “I am very proud of each class! They had so much compassion to find the means to purchase gifts for children they may never meet. It was a memorable night for the freshmen class.”
To begin Pack ‘n’ Stack, Lee President Dr. Mark Walker congratulated the students for a successful first semester at Lee and introduced Santa and Mrs. Claus, who were available for pictures during the event.
Andrew Jackson Moluguram, a junior youth ministry major at Lee, was the student speaker. Mr. Moluguram received an OCC shoebox as a child while living in India. He told the students about his experience and encouraged them that their time packing shoeboxes would make an impact on children around the world.
“Receiving a shoe box at the age of 10 was nothing such a blessing because growing up, these toys were all we had to play with,” said Mr. Moluguram. “These boxes mean so much that I can hardly explain in words. Coming out to share my experience of receiving these boxes with students at Lee and being a part of Pack 'n' Stack is something I will treasure for a long time. I witnessed the love these students displayed to bring the gospel and joy to children's lives across the world.”
The Pack ‘n’ Stack event, which is organized for freshman Gateway classes, included 81 peer leaders, 41 Gateway instructors, and12 volunteer faculty and staff members.
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/.
To watch a video overview of the event, visit https://www.facebook.com/LeeUniversity/videos/4553276321429610/.