MARTINEZ, Ga. (WJBF) – The trick or treating is done and middle schoolers at Augusta Christian already have their Santa hats on.
“It’s a great honor for me to be the principal here at Augusta Christian, and to see these kids actually putting their heart into packing these boxes,” said Middle School Principal Paige McLemore.
The Junior Beta Club got together to pack nearly 100 boxes for Operation Christmas Child, which gives underprivileged children Christmas gifts they might not get otherwise.
The project of Samaritan’s Purse started in 1993 by President Franklin Graham.
Since then, more than 209 million children in more than 170 countries and territories have received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.
It’s required for 7th and 8th grade children to do community service hours, but McLemore says this also drives home the school’s mission.
“We decided since local churches do it, why not Augusta Christian,” said McLemore. “We’re here to openly serve Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, so this is a great opportunity for us to show the light of Jesus to the world.”
Students say it means the world to them to pack these boxes for less fortunate children that deserve it.
“It means a lot to be able to provide something for someone who doesn’t have as much as we do, and being able to do that I hope it brings joy to them as much as it brings joy to us,” said President Sydney Moore.
“I think that it’s so special. Even if you just pack one box, it’s going to a kid that has never seen anything like this before,” said VP Millie Janik.
Chaplain Hadley Sansom adds, “I hope these boxes really send them joy, and that they’ll see what Christmas really is all about.”
“It’s really awesome,” said Secretary Addi McNair. “It’s so cool knowing that these things we take for granted, these kids are so excited to get them. And it’s just amazing to help out.”
McLemore says as the principal at the middle school level, it’s a wonderful opportunity to see the youth contribute to a great cause.
“For them to actually come in and see the excitement on their faces–and the smiles on their faces–and get excited about putting crayons and deodorant and toothbrushes in a box for a child that may not even have running water where they live? It’s just a great opportunity, and a great way to spend the holiday season doing things for others,” said McLemore.
The kids packed a total of 80 shoe boxes that will be sent out.
The next step will be to take those boxes to Warren Baptist Church for National Collection Week, which will be from November 13th-18th.
From there, the boxes will be sent to Savannah, Georgia, so that they can finally be delivered to millions of children around the world.
For more information, and if you wish to support Operation Christmas Child, you can find their website here.