Christmas cheer became tangible as USF students filled boxes with toys and needed supplies for less fortunate children to enjoy on Christmas day half way around the world. Overall, 30 gift boxes were packaged and sent out to be delivered through the Operation Christmas Child program.

The gift boxes are a part of the Nursing Department and University’s mission to live out Culture for Service.

“This project is important to the Nursing Department because nursing is a holistic profession, focusing on the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of individuals and communities,” said Dr. Cheri Kovalenko, associate professor of family/pediatric nursing.

Kovalenko said packing these shoeboxes can fill a fundamental need for children across the world who desperately need to know they are loved. Boxes are filled with items such as toys, personal care items, crafts and clothing. Additionally, Samaritan’s Purse provides spiritual care for the children who receive the boxes and follows up with an explanation of God’s love for them. And practical hygiene items fulfill a physical need.

Last year 11.4 million boxes were delivered by Samaritan’s Purse for children worldwide. USF students say the opportunity to impact lives across the world brings true joy.

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