MARSHALL, Texas (KETK) – East Texas Baptist University is giving back to others this holiday season. They participated in their seventh Operation Christmas Child with Samaritan’s Purse.

During this initiative, people put toys, school supplies and other goodies in boxes and then ship the gifts around the world to make people aware of “God’s love for them.” The university put together more than 300 boxes this year.

“Operation Christmas Child is a very easy way to bless a child from another country with a gift that not only brightens their day but gives them the Good News of Jesus Christ,” said Lisa Seeley, ETBU Director of the Great Commission Program. “Our ETBU students are always willing to participate in this fantastic ministry. They get to give to the least of these while having a great time buying cute, funny, educational or sports related gifts for little children. I am always blessed to see what big hearts our ETBU students have for others.”

Courtesy: ETBU

University staff and students bought items for the boxes for kids between the ages of two and fourteen.

“Operation Christmas Child is a really cool opportunity for all of us to give back to individuals around the world,” said Chad Cox, ETBU Men’s Soccer Head Coach. “Living in the United States, we are super blessed by how we get to celebrate Christmas each and every year, so it’s a nice way to give back and make others feel the same love we receive during the holiday season.” 

All 23 of the university’s sports teams helped organize the boxes on National Collection Week. The athletes also prayed over the boxes.

Courtesy: ETBU

“It means a lot getting to serve with my team because it brings us all closer and shows what we can accomplish together,” said Zachary Schmidt, ETBU junior business administration major. “I think these Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes will have a big impact on the kids who receive them.”