Orcas Christian School students packed 47 shoeboxes as part of the Operation Christmas Child gift collection. The shoeboxes were stuffed with gifts such as toothbrushes, soccer balls and pump, school supplies, stuffed animals, soap, small toys such as jump ropes, tops, dolls, socks, hair supplies, stickers, balls and sunglasses.
The boxes are collected by Samaritan’s Purse, which then distributes the packages to children affected by war, poverty, natural disaster, famine and disease around the world. The gifts are shipped out from the Samaritan’s Purse processing centers by the middle of December, and some are delivered by Christmas – primarily those in Central/South America and Eastern Europe. Many countries that receive the gifts must transport them to rural areas, so distribution typically occurs throughout the spring.
Some OCS students have been packing these shoeboxes for more than 10 years. The seventh and eighth graders led the project this year. They each helped a K-6 student choose who their shoebox would be sent to, and together they selected items. The last gift included was a letter telling a bit about the packer. Last year, one of the OCS students received a reply from a girl in Ukraine.