And Joy be unto all Men

2013 Operation Christmas ChildImagine waking up on Christmas morning, still buzzing with the same jitters that allowed only a few anxious hours of sleep the night before to find a day just like any other.

This year, Huntington University students decided that this was no longer acceptable. Even college kids in the rural Midwest can bring joy unto all the earth.

On Nov. 14, students wrapped presents with great care and sent them out with love to the children of the world as a part of Operation Christmas Child.

Each year, the Samaritan's Purse, a global non-profit charity, hosts Operation Christmas Child, an event where people wrap shoe boxes of gifts for boys and girls, ages 2-14, and sends them across the globe. Samaritan's Purse delivers these packages to children in more than 130 different countries who wouldn't have a Christmas gift otherwise.

This year's Operation Christmas Child event was led by Friesen Center volunteer coordinator, Lauren Kirby.

"The Friesen Center is so honored to play a part in this Christmas tradition. Our goal is to serve and share Christ with not only the people in our community but around the world," Kirby said. "Hopefully this event enables us to do that in some small way."

This year, the Friesen Center for Volunteer Services and Huntington students sent out 23 shoe boxes. Each shoe box was individually stuffed and wrapped by the students themselves. The Friesen Center supplied the wrapping paper, snacks and Christmas flair. The shoe boxes contain various goodies like writing supplies, personal cleaning materials, dolls and action figures and stuffed animals. All of which were handpicked by the students with their "Christmas Child" in mind.

Operation Christmas Child began in 1993 and has since delivered more than 100 million shoe boxes. The Friesen Center staff helped serve as the arms and legs of the town in delivering shoe boxes to the county collection point.

Luke 2:10 reads, "… And the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people.'" That good tiding of Christ's birth should not only be the most anticipated day for Americans but all people. This year, Huntington University helped to make sure it will be.