Chapel marks launch of Belmont’s Shoebox Drive
Belmont students Alina-Sarai and David Gal-Chis spoke to faculty, staff and students about Operation Christmas Child and their experience with the program during a convocation event held on Wednesday in the Chapel. The Gal-Chis siblings received Operation Christmas Child boxes in Romania as young children.
The world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, Operation Christmas Child uses gift-filled shoeboxes to share God’s love in a tangible way with needy children around the world. Since 1993, nondenominational nonprofit Samaritan’s Purse has collected and delivered more than 113 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in over 150 countries through Operation Christmas Child. More than 500,000 volunteers worldwide, with more than 100,000 of those in the United States, are involved in collecting, shipping and distributing shoebox gifts.
“Their mission is not just to bring joy to children. It goes beyond that. It has to do with the love of Jesus Christ and being able to show that through the gift of giving,” said David.
The event kicked off Belmont’s participation for the second year in the Operation Christmas Child shoebox program–last year Belmont contributed more than 500 boxes. Students and employees are being invited to pick up a box (available in residence halls, the Beaman Student Life Center and University Ministries office in the Gabhart Student Center); pack it with gifts (small toys, school supplies and non-liquid hygiene items like toothbrushes, soap, combs, etc. and accessories like T-shirts, socks, hats, hair clips, flashlights and the like); and return the box Nov. 19-21 to University Ministries or the Beaman.
“Through this giving, we can show God’s love. People are profoundly influenced by that. They can see that these people care for them. It’s more than what you put it in the box. It signifies God’s love for those people. And that’s what’s so amazing about it,” David said. “These simple gifts connect children and their families to God and provide a deeper knowledge of the gospels.”
“Even those small things that seem unimportant make a huge difference,” Alina-Sarai added.