McCollum HS packs holiday cheer into shoeboxes

The spirit of giving arrived early at McCollum High School as students and staff members donated 450 shoeboxes filled with toys, personal hygiene items and school supplies to Operation Christmas Child.

The national program organized by Samaritan’s Purse sends shoeboxes filled with gifts to underprivileged children in 150 countries around the world. 

McCollum High School English teacher Ms. Kristina Ocampo brought the program to the English department last year.

“We were doing literature that dealt with different conflicts all over the world and I wanted us to do something positive because when you’re talking about conflict it’s kind of sad and depressing, so I wanted us to do something that was positive but wasn’t just local,” Ocampo said. “I wanted something that the students could actually physically see and something that was meaningful to them.”

She suggested Operation Christmas Child to her students and they fully embraced the project. Several students brought even more than one box and got creative with wrapping paper.

When she brought up the idea for a second annual Operation Christmas Child to McCollum HS Principal Mr. Jacob Garcia, he suggested opening it up to the entire campus.

Teachers, counselors and students brought decorative boxes ready to brighten up a child’s holidays. She set a goal of 400 boxes and the campus surpassed it by 50 boxes.  

“I’m going to need to set an even higher goal next year,” Ocampo joked. 

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