November 20, 2023
East Texas Baptist University participated in its eighth annual Operation Christmas Child, an outreach program organized by Samaritan’s Purse. The ministry involves filling shoeboxes with small toys, school supplies, and other items that are sent to children all over the world as a Christmas gift and a tangible reminder of God’s love for them.
“I truly appreciate our Tiger students as they continue to exhibit a giving and serving spirit, as we strive to transform the world for Christ,” Vice President for Student Engagement and Athletics Ryan Erwin said. “These gifts will enable children all over the world to hear the story of Jesus and the true meaning of Christmas.”
Prior to the boxing of the gifts, University faculty, staff, and students shopped for kids between the ages of two to fourteen, picking out toys, clothes, and various necessities to gift the children. In total, the University Community collected a record number of more than 350 boxes.
"I started putting together boxes for Operation Christmas Child when I was very young and continued through high school,” senior Cheerleader Jordyn Reeves said. “When I found out that I would get to continue doing this at ETBU my freshman year I was so excited. This event is one of my favorites as a Tiger student-athlete. Christmas is a wonderful time of year and to get a chance to gather with the ETBU athletic family to put together boxes that will bless children in need makes this season even more special."
During National Collection Week, all twenty-three of East Texas Baptist’s athletic teams gathered to put the boxes together. The student-athletes had the opportunity to pray over the boxes and for the kids who would be receiving them.
"Engaging in Operation Christmas Child provides a simple yet impactful opportunity for our team to bring joy and share the message of Jesus Christ with children in other countries,” Bass Fishing Head Coach Cameron Burger said. “The student-athletes always look forward to picking out gifts for the children and it is always fun to get all of the athletic teams together to pack the boxes and fellowship.”