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Boys Town Youth Gives Back To Children All Around the World with Gifts Packed With Love

Each holiday season, Boys Town youth participate in Operation Christmas Child (OCC).

OCC’s mission allows a way for donors to plan for and provide a customized Christmas gift to a child in need. It allows the donor to make a decision on the age and gender and then come up with creative gift ideas to pack in the box. The gifts also can include personalized cards, letters and pictures. Designated OCC “drop-off” sites then send the boxes to a centralized location to be sent all across the world.

“What we cherish most from this cause is that children who receive these gifts are receiving the true message of Christmas through the generosity of others,” said Angela Powers, Director of Pastoral Affairs for Boys Town.

Two years ago, Pol Chol, who is now a Boys Town graduate, did a radio show about the first time he had received an OCC box. He was a seven-year-old boy living in Uganda when he received his box which marked the first gift he had ever received. Getting his own gift and seeing other children around him, including his three–year-old brother, with their eyes sparkling while unwrapping their gifts, will be a memory he will remember forever. Pol himself, felt the same joy all the others had. He used to draw in the dirt because he didn’t have any drawing tools. Being able to express his love for drawing with the simple gifts he received was an indescribable feeling. When Pol had the opportunity to make his own gift box, he was delighted to give back the joy he had felt.

“During the Christmas season, most children can get caught up in their own wants and naturally gravitate toward sharing their own Christmas list,” explains Angela. “At Boys Town, we teach children to add ‘giving to others’ to their Christmas list. We hope that our children will see the value in their service and also make giving to others a part of who they are as they become adults. As our children are healing the hearts of others, they are mending their own hearts in order to be the best they can be for their future.”

With over 113 million shoeboxes sent across the globe since 1993 and over 4,000 drop-off locations across the United States open during National Collection Week, Nov. 17-24, the OCC has been spreading gifts across the globe to demonstrate God’s love to children and the Boys Town youth are proud to be a part of National Collection Week each holiday season for an amazing cause.

So far, Boys Town has sent more than 10,000 boxes and this year, Boys Town sent over 850 boxes completed by campus homes, Dowd Chapel attendees and employees. Just knowing that beaming faces of children unwrapping their gift boxes all around the world made this holiday season worthwhile for the Boys Town youth and community.

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