Campbellsville–History was made on the campus of Campbellsville University Nov. 24 when the Taylor County Operation Christmas Child collection site at the university became the first collection point in the history of the Heart of Kentucky Area to collect more than 7,000 shoebox gifts in a single year.
Campbellsville University collected 7,647 boxes with 44 churches donating boxes. A total of 174 volunteers worked with OCC. The total is 1,626 shoeboxes more than last year. Campbellsville is the only relay center on a college campus in Kentucky.
This is the third year Campbellsville University has served as the official collection site for shoebox gifts in Taylor County.
From Nov. 17-24, Campbellsville University again opened its doors to residents, churches and community groups who dropped off a total of 7,632 shoebox gifts to provide much-needed love and joy to needy children around the world.
The Campbellsville collection site is the first stop on a journey across the world to where the gifts will be delivered to hurting children overseas using whatever means necessary–boats, airplanes, trains and even elephants.
“It’s a beautiful picture when Campbellsville University and Campbellsville and Taylor County join our hearts together in servant leadership,” said Ted Taylor, CU director of church outreach, who is the Taylor County Relay Center coordinator.
“The explosion of Operation Christmas Child 2014 on campus and community has been breathless. Together we have created 7,632 gospel opportunities with 42 churches and 172 volunteers. ‘To God Be The Glory, Great Things He Has Done!'” he said.
“OCC unites people. It’s amazing how serving children brings CU, churches and our community together to share the love of Jesus,” he said.
Sherry Bowen, secretary of the CU School of Theology, said, “We have been blessed to have so many volunteers help us at the relay center. We had 74 volunteers to help.”
Operation Christmas Child regional manager, Kate McKinnie, expressed OCC’s appreciation for the commitment by Campbellsville University students and staff noting, “There are only a handful of college campuses across the country that OCC chooses to serve as official drop off sites.”
OCC Heart of Kentucky Area Coordinator Kathy Kendrick, who was present at the Taylor County collection site for the milestone event, echoed OCC’s appreciation saying, “We wish more college students and staff embraced the ministry of Operation Christmas Child in the same manner Campbellsville does, and we want to thank the CU administration, staff and students for engaging whole-heartedly in this simple project, that has a global scope and an eternal impact on children all over the world when they learn the good news of Jesus Christ.”
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham.
Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to more than 113 million children in more than 100 countries. In 2014, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach another 10 million children.
Each year, Operation Christmas Child encourages individuals, groups and churches across the United States to fill empty shoeboxes with toys, school supplies and hygiene items. The gifts are collected at more than 4,000 drop-off locations nationwide, and hand delivered by missionaries, teachers and ministry partners to children in need overseas. For many children, these are the first Christmas gifts they have ever received.
Using special tracking technology, participants can follow their boxes online and discover the country to which their gifts will be delivered to children in need. To register a shoebox gift, use the online donation form at samaritanspurse.org.
For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child or how to host a packing party, call (270) 789-5029 or (865) 235-4827 or visit samaritanspurse.org. (CU)