Mississippi College

Operation Christmas Child Receives Helping Hand at Mississippi College

November 18, 2013

More than 100 million boys and girls in over 130 countries have experienced God’s love when they received Christmas gifts in simple shoeboxes.

A ministry of North Carolina-based Samaritan’s Purse since 1993, Operation Christmas Child linked with Mississippi College for the first time this fall. MC students in mid-November contributed 70 boxes of toys, hygiene items and school supplies to aid the cause.

About 75 students enjoyed cookies and brownies at the Commons Thursday November 14th for the program’s kickoff. They gathered gifts to make the Christmas holidays a little brighter for needy children around the globe.

Beth Masters, associate director of the Office of Christian Development, joined students decorating the room in Alumni Hall. The packages they collected will first go to a Clinton church before getting shipped to locations worldwide.

Whether they are to receive dolls, toy trucks, jump ropes, crayons, T-shirts or toothbrushes, the children will be blessed getting something for Christmas.

“I’ve known many children from households who couldn’t afford Christmas presents,” said MC sophomore Brandon Jackson, who joined Thursday evening’s festivities on the Clinton campus. “This is a great event,” added the graduate of Jackson’s Jim Hill High School.

A pre-physical therapy major from Birmingham, MC student Brooke Varnado believes the Christian university is supporting a terrific cause as the holiday season approaches. The Samaritan’s Purse organization is led by President Franklin Graham, the son of legendary 95-year-old evangelist Billy Graham.

“For some kids, it is the only thing they will get for Christmas,” Varnado said.

Mississippi College students, faculty and staff are also involved with Angel Tree that delivers Christmas presents to the sons and daughters of prisoners around the Magnolia State.

“MC students are involved in so much and make a difference,” Brooke said.

While this is the first time the Baptist-affiliated university has played a role with Operation Christmas Child, many students have been connected with the program in their home churches, said Eric Pratt, vice president for Christian Development. “But this is the first time that Operation Christmas Child has been on campus.”

For more information, contact the Mississippi College Office of Christian Development at 601.925.3235 or visit www.samaritanspurse.org.

Photo: Mississippi College is helping the Operation Christmas Child program that sends holiday gifts to kids worldwide. Attending the November 14th event are (in the front row): MC students Jessica Atchley of Wetumpka, Alabama, Ryann Davis of Bay City, Texas, Olivia Koonce of Memphis, Christian Development associate director Beth Masters, Jennifer VanDine of Miamisburg, Ohio, and Harold J Owens of Chicago. In the back row: James Shaw of McKinney, Texas, Jarrud Mayes of Baton Rouge, and Brandon Jackson, of Jackson, MS.

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