Clarksville, Ark.-The University of the Ozarks women's soccer team volunteered its time and resources to assist in this year's Operation Christmas Child.
Operation Christmas Child is managed by Samaritan's Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. The Operation Christmas Child project involves packing a shoebox full of toys, hygiene kits, clothing and other needed items for impoverished children around the world.
The team members were split into groups of two and chose a girl or boy to sponsor. They provided their own resources to purchase the items, which were later packed into a shoebox. In all, the team accounted for eight shoeboxes that will be sent overseas.
Sophomore Olivia Allard has been involved with the project for several years and appreciates the opportunity to give.
"The whole team was excited to be given the opportunity to give to someone else," she said. "You may never see this child, but to know you've made a difference in their life feels good. The project has changed my view on what it means to give to others. While the items may not be much to us, it is a lot to others. These are children who may not be getting a lot for Christmas."
U of O student-athletes have also volunteered with the Salvation Army this Christmas season, spending time with the organization's Red Kettle drive.
According to its web site, Samaritan's Purse has been in operation since 1970 and has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God's love through His Son, Jesus Christ.