Dr. Paul Conn and his Gateway class packing boxes
A group of students after packing their OCC shoeboxes
Peer leaders carry the packed shoeboxes to be transported
Alex Nsengimana speaks during chapel about the impact receiving an OCC shoebox had on him as a child
Over 700 Lee University freshmen, along with 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.
During the event, students packed shoeboxes filled with items that they purchased in the weeks leading up to Pack ‘n’ Stack. Over the past 25 years, Lee has collected 45,155 boxes for OCC. This year, students packed a total of 930 boxes.
“I love that, even though we have a great number of Gateway classes, we can all come together for a singular purpose,” said Dr. Lorinda Roberts, director of First Year Programs at Lee. “I wanted us to remember that this singular purpose was to serve kids around the world. That’s one of the things I love about this event, that everyone can come together to serve.”
During the week leading up to Pack ‘n’ Stack, Alex Nsengimana came to speak at a chapel service. Born in Rwanda, Nsengimana was a first-hand witness of the Rwandan genocide and received an OCC shoebox while living in an orphanage. During the service, he spoke about the life-changing impact that the shoebox had on his life, and he now shares his story with OCC through his work with Samaritan’s Purse.
Lee President Dr. Mark Walker opened Pack ‘n’ Stack by congratulating the students for a successful first semester at Lee and introducing Santa and Mrs. Claus, who were available for pictures during the event.
“I’m just so grateful for everyone who took time to prepare, shop for, and pack the boxes,” said Dr. Roberts. “There were so many hands that went into this, and I’m grateful for everyone’s participation.”
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 www.samaritanspurse.org/.