Organizations donate goods for Christmas

Rachel Kielar and Rachel Kielar

Tis the season for receiving gifts, but for most, giving is equally as important.

H2O, a University organization and church designed to impact the campus and city of Bowling Green, recently held their annual fundraiser, Operation Christmas Child, geared toward children in need across the globe.

The event was held from November 16-20 with over 25 groups participating.

H20 managed to develop the fundraiser more this year and 101 boxes were filled and sent.

Courtney Spears, an organizer of the event, is thrilled to be able to give back in this way.

“It’s great to be able to give these things to children who otherwise might not receive anything during the holiday season,” she said. “We’re blessed by how much it’s grown over the years and with the number of people who took the time to get involved.”

According to, the idea for the fundraiser began in 1990 in the aftermath of the fall of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

David and Jill Cooke, from Wrexham, Wales, became concerned with the plight of the countless Romanian orphans whose lives had fallen into tumult following the tremendous societal and political changes in their country.

That Christmas, the Cooke’s organized a convoy of nine trucks and delivered medical supplies, clothing, food and Christmas gifts to children in Romania.

In 1993, Samaritan’s Purse “adopted” the program and began supporting children across the globe.

Operation Christmas Child is unique in how it generates and delivers assistance.

Volunteers are encouraged to put a collection of gifts into shoeboxes and bring them to one of the nearly 4,000 drop-off centers across the country.

Gifts are at the discretion of the givers – within certain guidelines – and have included gloves, socks, dolls, toy trucks, school supplies and hygiene items such as toothbrushes.

Participants are also encouraged to include personal notes, photos and even return addresses. Many who have given in recent years have developed ongoing relationships with children who have received their gifts.

Though those who donate cannot choose exactly where their boxes will end up, delivery to at least six continents is guaranteed.

Participants can select the age range of the child they wish to support – 2 to 4, 5 to 9 or 10 to 14 – and whether they prefer a boy or girl.

They can also follow their gift online and see where it is sent. First-time participants can receive “Go Boxes” from Samaritan’s Purse to help get started with their donation.

To learn more about Operation Christmas Child or H20, visit