Operation Christmas Child Brings Back memories to Teresa Bockholt about her childhood

Joanne+Krafft%E2%80%99s+applied+class+stacks+Operation+Christmas+Child+boxes+on+the+stage.+Any+contribution+to+this+organization+can+help+anyone+this+Christmas

Jordan Pulse

Joanne Krafft’s applied class stacks Operation Christmas Child boxes on the stage. Any contribution to this organization can help anyone this Christmas

Jordan Pulse, Staff Writer

Teresa Bockholt, lead specialist in resource, will never forget receiving a once-in-a-lifetime gift from the widely known organization, Operation Christmas Child, as a child in Belize City .

In Belize City, Central America, in the year 1965, Teresa Bockholt was born in a poor Christian community. Bockholt’s family already believed in Christianity, and learning God’s word wasn’t a completely brand new experience. Different types of missionaries even traveled to Bockholt’s school and fed poor families in Belize City way before Operation Christmas Child came close to Central America.

Operation Christmas Child, as many students at Faith Lutheran know, is a worldwide organization that encourages anyone to create a shoebox full of small gifts and donate the shoebox to struggling families all around the world. After receiving gifts, children move on to a month-long Bible program to ensure children understand that God remains within everyones hearts, even in the worst of times.

Even though Bockholt lived in a poor community from birth, she never realized how impoverished her community was, until later on in her life.

“At the time, I never considered myself poor. We [the community] all lined up, we got certain things from missionaries,” Bockholt explained. “Our neighbors borrowed from each other, our school provided free lunches and free milk, we were taught the Bible.”

One of the missionary programs that traveled to Belize City was Operation Christmas Child. Although “back in the 70’s” the organization wasn’t as organized and known to many people as it is now, said Bockholt. Bockholt experienced excitement, celebration, happiness when she received a shoebox. Bockholt has never forgotten playing with a piece of jewelry that has forever impacted her life.

“Up to today, I remember getting a neon green necklace with shiny beads on it, only because it was unique,” Bockholt said. “In Central America, we never had really pretty things, but for me I imagined America being rich, and the necklace stood out to me.”

Since Bockholt and her family already believed in Christianity, the Bible program “enhanced” her faith in Jesus and “reassured that God looks after his children,” Bockholt said.

Since the time to construct a shoebox has already passed, students can make a difference by leaving a donation on Operation Christmas Child’s website; www.samaritanspurse.org Even if students don’t get to donate small presents for the holiday season, a small amount of money can go a long way for an family in need.

Bockholt encourages anyone at Faith to donate, since any donation can make a difference.

“Donating makes us feel good, giving forward in our hearts, but you never know what impact [a gift] will actually have on a child.”

Overall, Faith Lutheran has donated 491 shoeboxes to Operation Christmas Child this year. Middle school donated about 391 shoeboxes and high school donated about 100 shoeboxes to this organization.

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