Swimming & Diving Gives Back for the Holidays
Dec. 18, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. - During the holiday season, the NC State swimming & diving team is not concerned about themselves, but others, as the team decided to donate 20 shoeboxes to Operation Christmas Child and volunteer at the Salvation Army.
Operation Christmas Child, created in 1990 by Dave Cook - is a 'global Christmas gift exchange.' Each November, thousands of locations are opened, typically at churches or schools, to collect shoeboxes filled with toys, school supplies, personal items and other gifts. These boxes are then distributed as Christmas gifts to those in need.
"I think this is a great opportunity to help people right here in our community," senior Julianna Prim said. "It is a lot of fun packing the gifts knowing that we are contributing a little to the excitement many children will have on Christmas morning. It really reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas and that it is more important to give than receive."
Operation Christmas Child is a unique project of Samaritan’s Purse that brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoe boxes. It provides an opportunity for people of all ages to be involved in a simple, but hands-on project that has the power to transform children’s lives.
Since 1993, more than 94 million shoe box gifts have been delivered to children in more than 130 countries.
The squad also volunteered at the Salvation Army on Monday before going home for Christmas by helping with the toy shop set-up and distribution. The Salvation Army distributes new clothing and toys to almost 4,000 families during the Christmas holidays.
Prim says the team decided to get involved after practice one day when they were thinking about all of the traditions and service projects they did as children. Operation Christmas Child and the Salvation Army were two projects that topped the charts among the members of the team.
"I think it's a great way to remember to be thankful for everything we have instead of getting caught up in everything we want for Christmas," said Prim. "It's very humbling to know the only things these kids get for Christmas are the shoeboxes. They are so excited over small things like a yo-yo or slinky and full of joy and it's wonderful to help children in so many different countries."
The swimming & diving team will return to action on the road, Jan. 5, as the Pack takes on Savannah College of Arts & Design and the University of Georgia. The meet is slated to begin at 11 a.m. in Savannah, Ga.