Operation Shoebox is a campus wide service project that was held Oct. 22 in the second-floor lounge. This program is part of the Samaritan’s Purse/Operation Christmas Child and was brought to the Penn State Lehigh Valley campus by Nelson Randolph who has been a missionary worker for many years.
Randolph and his wife receive many mission donations and purchase most supplies for the shoeboxes at deeply discounted prices. He has a friend who allows him to use space in an old warehouse at minimal cost to store supplies during the year. Randolph’s missionary connections throughout the world give him opportunities to ship the items to places such as Honduras, Haiti and the Bahamas. Many people in the U.S. contribute to the Operation Christmas Child efforts during the holiday season by donating items for children of all ages.
The program was hosted by Campus Christian Fellowship Club (CCF) and Community Heroes Club. More than 25 students, faculty and staff were present throughout the day to help assemble shoe boxes and fill them with necessary and fun items for children in need throughout the world. Penn State Lehigh Valley provided items for boys ages 5-9.
Students enjoyed organizing shoeboxes with an assortment of items from crayons and coloring books to matchbox cars and fidget spinners. Community Heroes Marketing Officer Vinay Singh was on hand early in the morning to help unload all the donations.
“I’m really happy to be a part of this and help out. It’s heartwarming to see how many donations there were,” Singh said.
"I'm glad that CCF and Community Heroes could bring Samaritan's Purse back to campus for this event. I'm especially grateful to all the students who packed the boxes for needy kids who will now have something special to enjoy for the holidays!" said Margaret Christian, associate professor of English and adviser of Campus Christian Fellowship Club.
Hannah Toomey, a member of Campus Christian Fellowship added “When I was younger my family made shoeboxes for Operation Shoebox and I always liked seeing what country they went to. I enjoyed getting to do this again now that I’m older,” said Toomey, Campus Christian Fellowship club member.