During the holiday season, there’s a lot of joy to go around. But the less fortunate may be overlooked and, when this happens, it may often seem as though the very young and the very old suffer the most.
Some children’s families don’t have the means to purchase Christmas gifts for them. The elderly may be neglected or forgotten.
But it doesn’t have to be this way, as Lincoln Elementary School fourth grade STUCO members proved Monday afternoon.
The children and several of their educators went to Walmart to purchase Christmas gifts for elderly residents at Valley View Senior Life and to put in Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes to be shipped to children in need overseas.
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian aid organization.
The gifts are shipped in shoeboxes — along with Christian reading materials — to children living in poverty and in war-torn areas all around the globe in the hopes of providing them with Christmas gifts they may never otherwise receive.
Teacher Freedom Brass was among those who escorted the students on their trip. It was a lesson on helping the less fortunate.
“Before we left the school, we talked about who’s benefits and where the boxes go,” she said.
The excursion was the brainchild, she said, of teacher Resia Muto. This is Lincoln students’ first time packing Operation Christmas Child boxes at school.
Braxton Stroda was one of the fourth grade students who showed up.
He wasn’t sure what he planned to put in his Operation Christmas Child shoebox yet.
“But I know whatever it is, it’s still going to make the kid really happy,” he said. “Because it’s a foreign country and they don’t have a lot of stuff.”
Student Hudson Bohanan came along on the trip as well.
“I just want to see them happy,” he said of the people — young and old — he was shopping for.
Bohanan hoped to find a gift to place in his shoebox that would be useful to the child who received it.
“Not like a like a one time thing since they’re only going to get this one time,” he said. “So they would be pretty important for them.”
Bohanan said he hoped to create a positive memory for whoever received his shoebox.
“That’s something they can use, like all the time if they get sad or something like that,” he said.
He was pleased to be able to help elderly Valley View residents he said, because “they don’t get to go out that much.”