Picture it: it is Christmas morning. Kids are racing to the decked-out tree in the living room, waiting to see just what lies underneath for them. Maybe Santa brought them the toy they’ve been begging for! Parents excitedly watch their children unwrap presents with cheer. But what about those who don’t have this privilege?

As the holiday season gets closer and closer, buying just the right gifts for our loved ones has been on everyone’s mind. Fortunately, several Americans are able to buy a little extra for their children during the Christmas season. However, those who live in third world countries don’t often have this opportunity, as most of the money they earn often goes into basic necessities.

That’s where Operation Christmas Child comes in. Operation Christmas Child is a Christian project by Samaritan’s Purse that sends gift-filled shoeboxes of items to children in third world countries. These items range from toys, school supplies, and hygiene items. “Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, has collected and delivered more than 188 million shoebox gifts to children in more than 170 countries and territories” (Samaritan’s Purse 2021).

Shoebox gifts from Cloverdale High School.

The Cloverdale High School FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) and National Art Honors Society participated in this event, gathering together over 30 shoeboxes to send. The club sponsor, Mr. Varnes, has been leading this event at Cloverdale for several years now, and he is incredibly passionate about it. Club members, including myself, are extremely grateful for the opportunity we have been given to not only pack shoeboxes but to be able to give back a little.

Operation Christmas Child is only one of several ways to give back to the world. It’s a small thing that these clubs do at Cloverdale High School, but it can have a large impact on the world.