This year Trevecca is a partner with Operation Christmas Child (OCC), serving as its relay center for downtown Nashville. At Trevecca, from November 18 to 25, churches, schools, organizations, and individuals can drop off the shoebox gifts they are giving to a child in need.
Trevecca’s kick-off event for OCC took place during the Monday-evening chapel service, October 28, with guest speaker Oksana Nelson. When she was a child, living in an orphanage in Russia, she received a gift shoebox through Operation Christmas Child. She told listeners how much that gift meant to her, how it brought her hope. Now a graduate student in Nashville, Nelson volunteers with OCC because her gifts from OCC meant so much to her and gave her hope.
Following the chapel service, Jennifer Neely, Trevecca’s on-campus coordinator for the OCC collection, distributed more than 100 shoeboxes to students who will fill them with Christmas gifts for a child. Neely said, “I feel certain that many in the Trevecca ‘family’ will participate in this effort. Leaders of several campus organizations have already told me that they are planning ‘packing parties’ during which their members will fill shoeboxes for OCC. Participating in this effort certainly makes my Christmas more meaningful. I love knowing that my small gifts will make some child happy, and I am so happy that Trevecca is helping OCC.”
Operation Christmas Child is a part of the international relief agency Samaritan’s Purse, founded by Franklin Graham. Last year OCC distributed its one-hundred-millionth box, and it goal for this year, OCC’s 20th anniversary, is to reach 1 million children in countries all around the world.
In addition to the gifts that others place in the shoeboxes, OCC will add to each box printed materials about Christ and an invitation for the recipient to enroll in The Greatest Journey, a 12-lesson follow-up program to Operation Christmas Child. The Greatest Journey teaches children how to become faithful followers of Jesus Christ and encourages them to grow in their faith.
For more information about Operation Christmas Child, click here.