In June, Alice Lloyd College was awarded the “10 years of Leadership and Service Award” by Samaritan’s Purse for ALC’s participation in Operation Christmas Child (OCC). OCC is a program organized by Samaritan’s Purse, which is led by Franklin Graham. Within the program, communities, churches, and organizations fill shoeboxes full of supplies to send to children around the world who may not have heard the gospel. Each child receives a shoebox filled with goodies and a Bible in their language. ALC serves as a drop-off station and fills hundreds of shoeboxes each year through Campus Ministries and various athletic programs. Campus Drop-off Leader, Mary Turner, states “We continue year after year with the help of organizations on campus, local churches, and communities to fill shoeboxes and spread the gospel! These shoeboxes are going where our feet cannot! Isn’t it amazing to see God’s hands and feet at work?!”
Former Director of Campus Ministries, Matt Stewart, brought OCC to Pippa Passes in 2010. In 2013, Stewart took a group of students to the Samaritan’s Purse International Headquarters in North Carolina to assist in processing shoeboxes being sent to the nation of Mali. The group spent eight and a half hours processing 42,000 boxes. Stewart was fully devoted to OCC. His wife, Jackie, states, “Helping children who otherwise may have not heard about Jesus was near to his heart.” Stewart relocated to Berea, Kentucky, in 2018 and passed away in 2020. Although he is no longer with us, his legacy lives on through ALC’s service to Operation Christmas Child.
ALC has currently donated over 10,000 shoeboxes. With each one, a child received the gift of the gospel and a student of ALC learned the value of the servitude. Last year, students took time to consider the needs of the children receiving the shoeboxes and how they could best meet those needs with their finances. Students gave utensils, cups, plates, hygiene products, and entertainment items. According to Mary Turner, the students expressed the epitome of servitude as they sacrificed their spare time to spread the gospel. Campus Ministries would also like to thank President Stepp for always giving them the resources they need to fill the shoeboxes, without his support ALC would not have been able to donate over 10,000 shoeboxes within the past 10 years. Operation Christmas Child has given those on Caney Creek a new devotion to serving the Lord by spreading his word around the globe and bringing students and faculty closer to each other and most importantly, Jesus.