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Operation Christmas Child at Andrews

Date: December 3, 2012

Students from several departments in the Andrews University School of Health Professions kicked off their Christmas season by giving to children around the world through Operation Christmas Child. Sharing the good news of God’s love with hurting boys and girls is the heart of Operation Christmas Child. Along with small presents and personal items for the children, each box contains literature on the gospels, an opportunity for the child to receive Bible lessons and a copy of The Greatest Journey in the child’s native language.
The Department of Physical Therapy became heavily involved when Esther Jones, Collection Center Coordinator for Operation Christmas Child and administrative assistant in the Department of Physical Therapy, and Sarah Hythecker, vice president of the Physical Therapy Class of 2014, set a dream in motion. Hosting a packing party in October and several collection dates between October and November, physical therapy students and staff were able to pack just under 100 boxes. This is the second year that PT has been involved in Operation Christmas Child. Wanting to get more people around campus excited about this ministry, Hythecker invited department chairs from the School of Health Professions to get their students and faculty involved.

Students from the Department of Physical Therapy hosted a packing
party in October.
Through Chapel announcements and Operation Christmas Child posters hung across campus, students were able to see that just a simple, small gesture could make a big difference. Participation meant packing a shoe box with small gifts, donating $7 online or including it in the box and then dropping it off on the collection days.

“As a physical therapy student my spare time is limited. What I like about Operation Christmas Child is that participation is quick and easy. All you have to do is purchase items to include in the box, make an online donation, and pack the box. Quick and easy!” says Hythecker. “I can only imagine the joy the little girl receiving my box will experience. She will find colorful hair accessories, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a teddy bear, a coloring book and crayons, a notebook and pencils, some candy, and most importantly she will learn about the love of Jesus Christ.”
As students from the Department of Physical Therapy encouraged others to join in, many lent a helping hand. The Department of Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology hosted a packing party in October, resulting in approximately 50 shoeboxes. Students from the Departments of Nursing and Nutrition & Wellness packed boxes on their own time. In total, students from across the Andrews campus ended up donating 212 packed shoeboxes to Operation Christmas Child.
About 50 shoeboxes were packed during a packing party in the
Department of Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology.

From Andrews, the boxes were taken to the Niles Adventist School, a regional collection site. Operation Christmas Child is no stranger to Niles Adventist School. The school has been involved for the past 16 years, and during that time more than 158,000 gift boxes have passed through the site. This year alone, 23,701 shoeboxes were collected at the Niles Adventist School collection site.
This year, with the expected shoe box collection of over 9 million boxes worldwide, OCC expects to pass a significant milestone—collecting and delivering shoe boxes to more than 100 million children since it was established in 1993 by Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian relief and evangelism organization.
Even though the main collection drive has come to a close, shoeboxes can be “packed” online by visiting

Andrews University is a Seventh-day Adventist institution of higher education
Phone: 1-800-253-2874     Email:
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Berrien Springs, Michigan 49104