giving service project
By COURTNEY BOYLE
Miracle on the Avenue, also known as Operation Christmas Child, is well on its way to helping underprivileged children in poverty-stricken countries.
Volunteers are asked to fill a shoebox with hygiene items, toys, school supplies and $5 for shipping. These boxes will then be shipped Nov. 19 to countries such as Bosnia, Albania, Kosovo, Honduras and Nicaragua.
"Operation Christmas Child raises shoeboxes full of gifts for children of other countries who are needing more," said Kimberly Pitsch, head of the project. "It reaches out to a larger range of children in the world, not just in the United States,"
Pitsch learned of the project through Marge Kalkstine, who started Operation Christmas Child in Grand Rapids. She launched the project in her high school.
"I started it my senior year as a way to bring service into my town. I just wanted to bring the awareness [of underprivileged children]. This is a way for people everywhere to get involved and recognizing needs throughout the world," said Pitsch.
Pitsch also got Jacque Lautzenheiser involved in this project. Lautzenheiser was so touched by the Operation Christmas Child video that she decided to bring this project to her church at home in Bluffton, Ind.
"I really want to get involved in mission work and this is a start for me," Lautzenheiser said.
While Lautzenheiser's church only had two weeks to put these boxes together, the response was very good.
"I wasn't sure what to think. They were really excited about it. If we would have had more time we would have gotten more boxes. I was really happy with what we got for the short amount of time," Lautzenheiser said.
Boxes need to be filled and dropped off in Haggar by Nov. 18 with the a proper label. Labels can be picked up in Haggar also.
A total of 71 boxes have been turned in, including 11 from Saint Mary's and 60 from Lautzenheiser's church. This event is also sponsored by Board of Governance. Pitsch commended the help and support of all Saint Mary's clubs.
Pitsch said that the most rewarding time for this project will be on Thursday when the boxes are all together.
"Some day I would like to be there when they [the children] open the boxes. This [Operation Christmas Child] is a way I know they are getting something for Christmas," said Lautzenheiser.
All News Stories for Wednesday, November 17, 1999