Tyler Perhac ’20, staff writer
For the fourth year, LVC’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) helped put together shoeboxes of toys, hygiene items and school supplies for children around the world for Operation Christmas Child (OCC).
10 members of FCA met on Sunday, Oct. 20 at Ono United Methodist Church to make a difference.
“We went for two and a half hours on Sunday night to help unpack the shoeboxes and organize them,” TJ Holdredge, FCA co-leader, said. “Then we got the hygiene packs together. Our role was to prepare everything so that members of the church could come in and focus on packing the boxes to be sent out.”
Over the course of Nov. 18-25, the shoeboxes are collected from collection centers such as churches all across the United States. With the help of FCA, more kids will be reached with gifts.
“Thousands of boxes will be filled just at [Onos United Methodist Church],” Holdredge said. “Thousands of kids will receive gifts and the incredible message of salvation through Jesus Christ.”
Operation Christmas Child aims to provide shoeboxes full of supplies to children outside of the United States and in Native American reservations in the U.S. who have been affected by poverty, natural disaster, disease and war. It is run by nondenominational Christian organization Samaritan’s Purse, whose purpose is to provide physical and spiritual aid around the world.
The Fellowship was connected to the project through LVC men’s soccer head coach Charlie Grimes, who is involved with the church. Of everything FCA is involved with each year, OCC is one of the most important and special events to them.
“It shows the heart of students to not only impact this campus, but the community around us, and essentially the entire world,” Holdredge said.
Aside from Operation Christmas Child, FCA meets every Sunday on campus. The group meets to discuss balancing sports, faith and academics, as well as help other students in similar situations.
“Our goal is for Christian athletes to have a safe place to share their thoughts and questions and be supported by others who are going through the same things,” Holdredge said.