Operation Christmas Child helps kids around the world

416 Christmas boxes for children around the world donated by the students and staff of Wiregrass Ranch

416 Christmas boxes for children around the world donated by the students and staff of Wiregrass Ranch

Legacy club is teaming up with Samaritan’s Purse to host Operation Christmas Child. This operation’s goal is to get the entire school together to give children around the world, such as in third world countries, an awesome Christmas.

Kathryn Bittner, a senior leader in Legacy club explained the importance of this endeavor.

“It’s a great way to get our whole school involved in a nation wide humanitarian project. With everyone working together to pack boxes, there are many children’s lives we can impact,” Bittner said.

This is Bittner’s second year participating in Operation Christmas Child. Her first experience was a rewarding one, so she was excited to participate in it again.

“There was actually a girl in the club who had received the box when she lived in another country. Hearing her experience receiving it when she had nothing was really powerful,” Bittner explained.

Each Christmas box is shoe box sized and filled with items chosen by students. They are labeled by students to specify the age of the child the box is intended for. The items can be toys that are age specific, hygiene products, and other goodies. Students can also write a personal letter to include inside the box.

When a Christmas box is donated, the donor has an option of donating an additional nine dollars to track the box and find out which country it is going to. The donation also helps cover shipping costs for the program.

The Christmas boxes collected at Wiregrass Ranch will be going to 104 different countries, most of those countries located in Africa.

Students brought in Christmas boxes in plastic shoe size containers for Operation Christmas Child.

Mariah Santiago, a junior, is excited to participate in Operation Christmas Child for the first time.

“I participated in Operation Christmas Child because I’ve always believed that every child deserves a gift during Christmas time, and if I can make at least one child happy on Christmas Day, it would be worth it,” Santiago said.

Sponsor of Legacy Club, Marilyn Davis, was happy with the outcome of this year’s drive.

“The only thing I will do differently next year is to raise the numbers and start a little bit earlier. The more boxes we get, the better Christmas someone would have,” Davis reflected.

In total, 413 boxes were collected for Operation Christmas Child at Wiregrass Ranch. That means 413 children are receiving a gift this Christmas, that otherwise wouldn’t.