BUIES CREEK — First-year students from the Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine kicked off the holiday season with an evening of celebration and service for Operation Christmas Child, the first official service project by the school’s Student Government Association.
The charter class enjoyed homemade cookies and sipped hot chocolate while packing 64 shoeboxes full of toys, hygiene items, educational materials and candy. The items were donated by the students and their families.
“People love giving back,” said med student and CUSOM SGA President Erin Fitzpatrick. “It was definitely a priority for us to come together and serve for our first official [SGA-sponsored] event, and Operation Christmas Child will certainly become a tradition for us here.”
A ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Christmas Child has delivered more than 100 million shoeboxes filled with gifts to boys and girls in more than 130 countries around the world since 1993. Packing a shoebox is simple and doesn’t take a lot of time — yet the effect of this small gift can be tremendous and life-changing for the children that receive it.
“Projects like this impact people on both sides,” student Launa Clough said. “The children receiving these gifts have so little, so it’s really a huge blessing to them. And we are equally as blessed to have the opportunity to purchase a few items, give of our time and pack these boxes.”
Faculty and staff members joined in on the fun throughout the evening, which was wrapped up with a group effort decorating the 12-foot Christmas tree in the foyer of Levine Hall.
“It’s been an evening of great fun, fellowship and service,” said Dr. John Kauffman, founding dean of CUSOM. “It makes me Campbell Proud to see our students come together and pack these shoeboxes, which will be delivered to needy children around the world. I can’t think of a better way to start the holiday season.”
— by Shelley Hobbs