FCA Once Again Takes Part in Operation Christmas Child


Kenneth Foran

Shoebox Stuffers Freshman Tanner Kennedy, sophomore Lauren Pflueger, and sophomore Qin Raisley stuff their shoebox to the brim with toys that will be going to some lucky child in a third-world country. Pflueger said that she enjoyed the project because she loves putting smiles on other people’s faces and knowing that a kid who doesn’t have much got to open her box makes her happy, too.

The FCA got in the spirit of Christmas relatively early this year. On November 7th, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) participated in the “Operation Christmas Child” program for the third year in a row. The program is designed to help children in developing countries by giving them gifts to open on Christmas Day.

These gifts come in the form of shoe boxes which have been filled with toys, clothes, shoes, and other essentials that these children need. Included with all of that is a bible verse for the child to memorize.

Kenneth Foran
Topping It Off Mr. Christy helps senior Ryan Broad and sophomore Shayne Gumpp put the finishing touches on their shoebox. Broad said working with a group enhanced the experience because they were able to get a lot more done and have fun while doing it.

While the organization Samaritan’s Purse takes care of spreading the word of Christ, people such as the members of the FCA take care of putting together the shoeboxes. Each year, the FCA splits up into groups of three that each make a box for either a boy or girl that is in one of three age ranges: 2-4, 5-9, and 10-14. With about 30 members in the organization, this allows the FCA to put together at least ten boxes.

While ten boxes may not seem like a whole lot, Mr. Christy, one of the FCA advisors, likes to look past the numbers.

“When it comes to goals with this, if we get one [box] I’m happy,” Mr. Christy explained. “Numbers aren’t a big deal to me in that sense.”

While giving gifts certainly benefits the children, Mr. Christy believes this also benefits the students.

“It’s more than just [giving gifts],” he said. “We get so caught up in the presents and the trees and Santa… it’s not what this time of the year is about. It’s about celebrating the birth of Christ.”

Along with giving gifts to children in need, the FCA also did their part in feeding the hungry. During Meet the Team night, members collected non-perishable food items and donations at the door of the event. All of the proceeds went to the FCA’s Christmas Elf Project, which ran in conjunction with the Slippery Rock food cupboard.

We get so caught up in the presents and the trees and Santa…it’s not what this time of the year is about.”

— Mr. Christy

The girls basketball team elected to get into the giving spirit as well. The team not only accepted donations at Meet the Team night, but held a bake sale as well. All of the contributions made during the event went straight to Hayden Hamilton of the Laurel football team. Hamilton was paralyzed during a game earlier this school year, restricting him from playing for the rest of the year. Since he can no longer play for himself, the girls basketball team has vowed to play their season for him.

If you would like to join the FCA in spreading Christmas cheer this holiday season and participate in “Operation Christmas Child”, you can visit www.samaritanspurse.org to help take part.