Nine representatives of the Eta Gamma Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at Coffeyville Community College spent Thanksgiving Break assisting at the International Processing Center of Operation Christmas Child in Englewood, Colorado. Assisting Operation Christmas Child has been an annual service project for the College's Phi Theta Kappa chapter.
Operation Christmas Child is under the umbrella of Samaritan’s Purse, a Franklin Graham Ministry. The group was also one of first responders to the Coffeyville flood of 2007. The ministry provides gift-filled shoe boxes to children in some of the world’s greatest poverty areas, and provides thousands of children with their first Christmas present.
The goal of the Englewood center is to process 750,000 boxes. The majority of the boxes processed by the Coffeyville students are designated to go to Mexico, while the other boxes are planned to go to Haiti, West Africa and Togo.
During the years the program has been in operation, 157 million boxes have been distributed to children worldwide. Eta Gamma members opened boxes, inspected each box for appropriate items, scanned tracking numbers and put the boxes into cartons for shipping. Each box was marked for one of the three age groups as well as gender.
The First Presbyterian Church of Coffeyville partnered with the student group by sponsoring over 100 boxes, and providing shipping funds and Thanksgiving food items. Grace Fellowship also provided boxes.
In addition to their service project, the students enjoyed a tour of beautiful Cathedral of the Plains, also known as the Basilica of St. Fidelis. The group also had a brief stop in Idaho Springs where students had an opportunity to view some beautifully decorated homes.
Students celebrated Thanksgiving by skiing and had a traditional meal at the home of Murray and Sharon McNeil.
Students participating in the service project were: Sayo Niiyama of Japan, Wilder Fenelus of Flordia, Dillon Van Rensburg of South Africa, Isabelle Attenborough of England, Rudy Alvarez of Flordia, Gianni West of Topeka and Tanner Glenn of Coffeyville.