Nov 13, 2020
College of the Ozarks to host Operation Christmas Child drop-off for community, on-campus shoebox packing
POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — College of the Ozarks will continue the annual tradition of packing boxes for Operation Christmas Child by hosting a drop-off for the community and on-campus shoebox packing events through Nov. 23.
C of O will have a box drop-off location, in the gravel lot across from The Keeter Center, for the community to utilize Nov. 16-23. Times are listed below.
The Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child collects shoeboxes—filled with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items—and delivers them to children in need around the world to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 178 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.
The College of the Ozarks Christian Ministries Department planned and orchestrated the Operation Christmas Child events. Lori Simmons serves as community service coordinator at the College.
“At the drop-off location, we’ll have multiple volunteers who will be receiving the boxes and asking how we can pray for the person dropping off the box,” Simmons said. “The volunteers will also pray over the box because it may be going to a child who has never received a gift before. These boxes are a tangible way to show God’s love to a child.”
One C of O international student, Vitaliy Kulyk, junior hotel and restaurant management major from Ternopil, Ukraine, has been on the receiving end of these boxes many times growing up.
“I remember when I was unwrapping the box, I felt loved because someone showed me that they cared for me,” Kulyk said. “As a child, I waited eagerly all year just to see what would be inside the box. Even though I did nothing to receive it, I remained blessed each year.”
Dr. Justin Carswell, vice president of Christian ministries and dean of chapel, had the opportunity to visit Grenada in 2019 and participated in handing out a total of about 800 boxes to four different churches.
“I loved seeing the joy and excitement in the children’s faces as they received the box,” Carswell said. “It was a big moment for them, and you could tell they were excited to receive a gift. I also saw the passion and commitment of these volunteers to make sure every child in each participating church received a box and heard the gospel preached. It was amazing to witness the power of the gospel in a simple gift of a shoebox.”
For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received. In 2020, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach another 11 million children.
Anyone who would like to contribute to Operation Christmas Child without leaving home can build a shoebox online at https://build-a-shoebox.samaritanspurse.org/view/1908f310-20b0-45ba-b2b0-0e1b6f91276a
C of O Drop-off Location
The drop-off location is the gravel lot across from The Keeter Center. This location will be a drive-thru, touch-free experience. Upon arrival, those dropping off shoeboxes will fill out an online drop-off form. A volunteer will approach the car, wearing gloves and mask, to receive the box.
The drop-off dates and times are as follows:
- Nov. 16: 3-6 p.m.
- Nov. 17: 7:30-11 a.m.
- Nov. 18: 7:30-11 a.m.
- Nov. 19: 3-6 p.m.
- Nov. 20: 7:30-11 a.m.
- Nov. 21: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Nov. 22: 1-4 p.m.
- Nov. 23: 7:30-11 a.m.
On-campus Packing Events
Students at College of the Ozarks are packing boxes for Operation Christmas Child. Student workers at Christian Ministries, along with many from the student body, packed boxes on Wednesday, Nov. 11., at the Christian Ministries building. The Keeter Center student workers will help pack boxes on Thursday, Nov. 19., at 5 p.m. at the lodge. C of O student athletes will pack boxes on Thursday, Nov. 19., at 8 p.m. at the gym.
Members of the media may visit samaritanspurse.org/occnewsroom for downloadable resources.