William Woods University students spread the joy of Christmas again this year by giving to children in need around the world.
For the second year in a row, Greek students participated in Operation Christmas Child (OCC), a branch of the international relief organization, Samaritan’s Purse. This year, students donated more than 130 boxes filled with a variety of toys and gifts, exceeding both last year’s donation and this year’s goal.
All six WWU fraternities and sororities—Pi Kappa Alpha, Phi Gamma Delta, Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Phi, Chi Omega and Delta Gamma—participated. This year, Kindness Connection, a new WWU organization, also contributed.
Last year, a total of nearly 8 million shoeboxes were collected and delivered across the globe through Operation Christmas Child; 4.8 million of those donated were from the United States.
The idea for William Woods to get involved in Operation Christmas Child came from Bradley Prasuhn of Farmington, Mo., and Jaclyn Reehoff of Barrington, Ill., both seniors at WWU.
The pair was inspired by their church’s involvement with OCC. The two students proposed the idea to the Greek community as a community service event, and its success inspired them to repeat the event this year.
“It was important for me to get involved because these are the only gifts a lot of these children will see for Christmas,” Prasuhn explained. “It’s nice to give, and it seemed so simple.”
Prasuhn and Reehoff shared the video with the Greek community, and made posters and flyers to hang around campus to encourage involvement.
“It’s easy for any college student to go to a dollar store and fill a shoe box full of goodies and necessities for children,” Reehoff said. “I felt like this was a great event because it got the whole Greek community involved as a whole and reminded the students of the true meaning of Christmas, as well as how we can all make a huge impact on the community if we each just invest a little bit of effort and time.”
As graduation draws close for Prasuhn and Reehoff, they are making an effort to keep the donations an annual tradition at WWU.
“We’ve set up committees in each house to ensure that this can continue every year,” Prasuhn explained.
He added, “A small shoebox makes all the difference in the world to those kids.”
William Woods University seniors Jaclyn Reehoff and Bradley Prasuhn share the joy of helping children through Operation Christmas Child.