Evangeline Colarossi—Staff Writer
Red and green boxes, rubber bands, small toys, hygiene products, and coloring supplies scattered Eckardt Lounge last Thursday. From 9-10 p.m., the FACT Club hosted their annual event of packing boxes for Operation Christmas Child. Each box that is packed is sent off to a child for Christmas, bearing love, prayers, and eagerly received presents.
Approximately twenty people came to help pack boxes, and together the group packed between twenty-five and thirty boxes. Some of the boxes were put together at the event itself, and others were dropped off at the event to be delivered.
The boxes were packed with a wide variety of items mentioned above and more both practical and entertaining gifts. The boxes were individualized by the age range and gender of the child receiving the boxes. The girls’ boxes were packed mainly with dolls, journals, and hair accessories. The boys’ boxes included sports equipment, toy cars, cards and other various items. Notebooks, highlighters, pencils, crayons, toothbrushes and hairbrushes were included in the boxes for each child as well.
All of the boxes were taken to the New Life Reformed Church in Sioux Center by two of the FACT board members. The boxes were dropped off and prayed over by the two board members and volunteers from the church. The boxes are sent from the church to processing centers across the country where volunteers examine the boxes, pack them into larger shipping boxes and then plan their next stage in transportation before they are delivered to children all around the world.
“It’s an incredible experience to work at the processing center,” said freshman Tess Hemmila. “I’ve volunteered at the center by my house multiple times and I always meet people who come from across the country to work at the processing center. A lot of them even consider their time working at the processing center a mission’s trip.”
While the FACT club hosts this event, all are welcome to come and participate. They understand that many other students on campus also have a desire to help others, and they want to make the opportunity to pack a Christmas box very accessible to all of the students on Dordt’s campus. The FACT club provides the boxes, tape, rubber bands, and transportation for the boxes, while those interested in packing boxes bring items to fill the boxes with.
The FACT club “strives to provide future teachers with experiences that will help them to become successful teachers. One of those experiences is different volunteer opportunities, especially ones that involve getting to work with children. While this event does not provide direct interaction with children, they believe that this opportunity is fitting for our members, who as future teachers, have a heart and desire to work with and help children.”
However, one of the goals of this event was to create a volunteer opportunity for those with the desire to participate, no matter whether they are involved in the FACT club or not.
The club has been hosting Operation Christmas Child packing for several years, and plans to continue this in the future. In the past, this event was held in 55th but was moved this year in hopes of building off of participation in Thursday night Praise and Worship held in the Campus Center.