Operation Christmas Child: the joy of giving
Every year at Lee, the entire freshman class comes together for the Operation Christmas Child (OCC) packing party. This celebration is one to remember. OCC is a service opportunity provided through Samaritan's Purse.
This year's event, #PackNStack, will take place Monday, Nov. 16, at 7:00 p.m. in the Walker Arena Gym.
Non-gateway students can turn their boxes in to the Office of Student Development until Friday, Nov. 20 at 5 p.m.
The night will be full of joy, tacky Christmas sweater contests, loud holiday music, snacks such as cookies and hot chocolate.
Samaritan's Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan's Purse has helped people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease and famine with the purpose of sharing God's love through his son, Jesus Christ, according to the website.
Senior Virgil Henderson considers outreach, like OCC, one of the greatest things the body of Christ can do.
'I always love this time of year,' Henderson said. 'I personally believe that it would be completely impossible to be a Christ centered university without emphasizing the importance of benevolence, the word and deed.'
Sophomore Brooke Groff will speak at the event about her experience participating in a box distribution.
Each Gateway class works together to pack as many boxes as possible and beat the other gateway classes present. The competition is a nice light way to push the students to give it their all. The winners of the competition will win a dinner with President Paul Conn.
But the giving isn't limited to just freshman. David Smartt, assistant professor of business, along with a few other professors, is gathering upperclassmen to pack their own boxes. Anyone is welcome to bring items to #PackNStack to contribute to this celebration of giving back.
Transfer student Daneille Gray said she is happy to know she can participate in the event.
'I've been hearing some of my friends talk about OCC and their experience, and I felt left out,' Gray said. 'I thought, 'Wow, I will never get to have that experience.' I love giving to those who are less fortunate, and not only do I find joy in it, but I consider it part of my job description as a believer.'
According to First-Year programs, the event's main purpose is to help students experience the joy of serving others.