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Home News Students Collect Gifts for Operation Christmas Child

Mission Minded Students is collecting gifts for children in need in the Student Success Center, Janzow Campus Center, Weller Hall and the Global Opportunities Center. Photo by Jordyn Sturms.


by Emily Sievert


Mission Minded Students is again joining churches, schools and organizations across the country in collecting items for the annual Operation Christmas Child through Nov. 21.

As a branch of the Samaritan’s Purse Organization, Operation Christmas Child provides children around the world with shoe boxes filled with gifts, school supplies, hygiene items and personal notes. Boxes are tailored to boy or girl, ages 2 to fourteen years old. These items are often accompanied by pamphlets containing Bible stories.

Shoe boxes are being collected and shipped during National Collection Week, Nov. 14-21.

“We take a lot for granted and this is a unique experience to give back. It lets the children know that someone is thinking and caring about them,” junior and Mission Minded Students leader Emma Dannehl said.

Not only does this give children an opportunity to experience a bit of Christmas cheer, but also it can be a way to show them Christ.

“These gifts aren’t conditional, but they do provide a foot in the door to introduce these children to Christ,” Global Opportunities Coordinator Julie Johnston Hermann said. “They give a foothold for the Gospel just by showing Jesus’s love.”

In many communities where the boxes are sent, the children and their families are offered the opportunity to be involved in follow-up events, such as Vacation Bible School groups or services.

Students across campus are getting involved with the event. Junior RA Kari Stirtz is having her residents participate as a hall.

“My hall was very excited about this idea. We are making two shoe boxes, one for a boy age 2-4 and one for a girl age 2-4 and I am hoping that the girls continue to give to fill these boxes,” Stirtz said.

“Even faculty members are getting involved,” Johnston Hermann said. “I have had some pick up boxes that they plan to fill with their family.”

While full boxes or individual items can be deposited in one of the many collection sites on campus, Mission Minded Students will also be hosting a packing event, where they will put together the shoe boxes by gender and age to send to children in Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

“My favorite part about this project is putting together the boxes and including personal notes,” Dannehl said. “It feels like you are sharing some of the excitement.”

The packing event will take place at the Global Opportunities Center at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16. All are welcome to come and pack the boxes to be sent out. Items and boxes can be deposited in the Student Success Center, the entrance to Janzow Campus Center, Weller Hall or the Global Opportunities Center.

For more information, contact Johnston Hermann at

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