Junior girl fills shoeboxes with holiday cheer

Making+a+little+kid+smile+on+Christmas+morning+was+an+important+goal+for+Blind

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Chelsea Blind

Making a little kid smile on Christmas morning was an important goal for Blind

by Christina Howie, Staff Writer

During all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, it can be difficult to find time to remember those who may not be as fortunate. Junior Chelsea Blind, however, has made them a top priority this year.

Blind took interest in a project entitled Operation Christmas Child, which was founded in 1990 by the Samaritan’s Purse, an evangelical Christian humanitarian organization.

“A couple of months ago, my family friends from Virginia introduced us to it when we visited them,” Blind said. “They have two adopted daughters from Ukraine and were telling us their experiences while they were in the orphanage. At Christmas time they would only receive one gift: a donated shoebox from a foundation called Operation Christmas Child.”

The purpose of the program is to fill shoeboxes with toys, school supplies, hygiene items, and notes of encouragement and then give them to needy children all around the world. Since 1993, Samaritan’s Purse has delivered more than 113 million shoeboxes to children in over 150 countries.

These shoeboxes are collected in the United States, Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

“I wasn’t really aware of the project before, and I have never decided to share any kind of nonprofit organization with anyone by asking for help,” Blind said.

With guidance from her family friend Jean, Blind started by setting a goal of 100 shoeboxes.

I learned that it’s a great thing to do great things for people.”

— Chelsea Blind

“I talked to Mr. Arlotta. We arranged daily announcements at school,” Blind said. “I also made posts in the Class of 2016 Facebook group, as well as answering questions for some interview that got printed into the Gazette.”

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Chelsea Blind
Operation Christmas Child wouldn’t be possible without the help from thousands of volunteers from all over the world

Blind had a collection box in the Hamilton Lobby through Nov. 17th. National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child was Nov.17-24. During this week, Samaritan’s Purse collected the gift-filled shoeboxes at more than 4,000 drop-off locations in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

By receiving help and donations from classmates, family, neighbors and school faculty, Blind was able to exceed her goal by 16 shoeboxes.

Operation Christmas Child has more than 500,00 volunteers worldwide collecting, distributing and organizing shoeboxes.

In light of her success, Blind intends on making this an annual service project and hopes to continue it throughout college as well.

“I learned that it’s a great thing to do great things for people,” she said. “Making a difference in even the littlest way can brighten the future for anyone. I hope others learn to be grateful each and every day for what we have and for what we are given.”