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CBU Packs ShowBoxes for Operation Christmas Child

Riverside, Calif. (Nov. 16, 2015) – Hundreds of California Baptist University students, staff, faculty and their families worked diligently to pack more than 550 gift shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child (OCC) on Nov. 12.

OCC is a project of Samaritan's Purse that has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to more than 124 million children affected by war, poverty, natural disasters and other crises.  The gift boxes have reached approximately 150 countries and territories since 1993.  Some of the gifts items include hygiene products, clothes, school supplies and toys.

More than 750 participants packed the CBU Recreation Center gym to fill boxes with donations that were spread out on tables.

Planning and organizing the event was a months-long effort that included help from many departments on campus, said Julie Dobbins, assistant director of chapel and compassion ministries and event organizer. Schools and departments provided donations for the shoeboxes as well, she said.

Volunteers also had the opportunity to write a special message on a card for the child who receives the box.  

"My favorite part was filling out the card and sharing [a note] with the child," said Victoria Neal, an early childhood studies junior. "I also like knowing that the boxes are going to such a great cause."

Dobbins said the turnout for OCC has nearly tripled in size since its introduction four years ago.   

"Operation Christmas Child is Gospel-centered, so we are giving a gift that is tangible but it also allows those who deliver the boxes a chance to share the Gospel," she added. "Getting involved with this is a great opportunity for students."