Brook Hill students get into Christmas spirit

Published on Saturday, 23 November 2013 00:05 - Written by By Kelly Gooch kgooch@tylerpaper.com

Students at The Brook Hill School got into the Christmas spirit early this year by packing shoeboxes with gifts for children in need.

This month, pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students packed the shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, which is through Samaritan’s Purse, Brook Hill Marketing Director and Bible teacher Travis Albea said via email.

On Friday, members of the Student Council, which headed the initiative as a service project, unloaded the shoeboxes at one of the drop-off locations, Faith Community Church. About 365 shoeboxes, as well as about $2,000, were collected for Operation Christmas Child, according to the school.

Student Council sponsor Julie Hanks said the shoeboxes, for children ages 2 to 14, are packed with various items, such as toys and toiletries.

“It’s not only a minister to their physical needs, but spiritual as well,” Ms. Hanks said.

She said this is the second year for the Student Council to do Operation Christmas Child for its service project, and it is now becoming a tradition.

Brook Hill senior Caleb Wagner, 18, said it’s always fun to gather with friends and do work for the community, but Operation Christmas Child goes beyond that.

“What we’re doing is affecting people around the world,” he said.

Senior Grant Perkins, 17, said he believes the initiative is a way for students to come together.

“It’s a good way for all of us … to get together and do something good,” he said.

The shoeboxes will go to the Dallas/Fort Worth area and eventually a final destination.

Those destinations could include third world countries that have had a natural disaster or are war-torn, “where people are just really struggling,” said Mark Skorheim, pastor at Faith Community Church.

Area Coordinator Carla Jackson said the goal for East Central Texas is 33,000 shoeboxes. For more information about Operation Christmas Child, including drop-off locations and how to build a shoebox online, visitwww.samaritanspurse.org/occ .