Members of various Panhellenic sororities came together last week to pack 407 Christmas boxes for underprivileged children around the world.
The drive, known as Operations Christmas Child, is organized through a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization known as Samaritan’s Purse.
Through OCC, donations of shoeboxes filled with items such as soap, toothbrushes, crayons, books, socks, toys and other items can be made.
“Then we wrapped the boxes and wrote letters to put in them,” said Katie Pouncey, a senior health and human services major from Wetumpka and director of the Panhellenic Operation Christmas Child Social. “Each year sororities will have socials with each other.
“I couldn’t have thought of a better way to spend a Christmas social than all of us coming together to pack Christmas boxes for children around the world. We had a lot of fun and it was such a blessing for us to do something for somebody else.”
Pouncey is a member of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority and said that her sorority has done this project for the past two years. Other sororities joined in the initiative this year.
“Each sorority was responsible for bringing a certain item or two,” Pouncey said. “So we would have enough supplies to reach our goal of 300 boxes. Everybody was also given the opportunity to bring in a box they had already made. We exceeded our goal and made 407 boxes. We hope to do it again next year and involve other organizations on campus.”
It costs $7 to ship a box. Various sorority members collected money at the Trojan Center last week to help raise money for the shipment.
Boxes made at Troy were sent to a processing center in Atlanta where all collected items are disseminated to 16 different countries. Some of those nations include Tanzania, Angola, Belize, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Mali and Peru.
“Our shoeboxes will be going to one or more of those countries,” Pouncey said.
Pouncey also said that a group from Troy is planning to go to the processing center in Atlanta on Dec. 14, to help prepare the boxes for international shipment.
“Each shoebox is a gospel opportunity to each of those countries,” she said.