Thirty-nine students from the School of Business Administration’s Freshmen Experience class bought, filled, decorated, and wrapped more than 80 gift boxes, which were donated to children overseas through Operation Christmas Child.
Boxes were filled with basic needs: school supplies, hygiene materials, and socks. Fun items such as balls, coloring books, and small toys were also included to bring a smile to the children’s faces during the holiday season.
According to Karl Malaszczyk, Esq., Assistant Professor for the School of Business Administration, students were split into teams to come up with creative items to fill the boxes.
“There was a sock puppet team, where the students used tube socks, googly eyes, felt, and glue to create puppets; a chalkboard team that took pieces of wood and stained them with chalkboard paint resulting in more than 50 places to practice math; a jewelry team that hand-crafted over 100 bracelets and necklaces; a tie-dye team that stained over 70 wash clothes in bright crazy colors; and a tote bag team that hand painted blank school bags with hopeful messages. These handmade items were supplemented by boxes of crayons, coloring books, blankets, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, socks, glow sticks, balls, and many other items. Students also included personal items such as pictures of themselves or a letter and their e-mail address in the hopes they will hear from the recipient of their box.”
To help offset the cost of the project, students set up at snack table on the Woodhaven campus every Thursday, selling cookies, pretzels, fruit, granola bars, and other bakery items, with all the proceeds going towards the boxes.
“This project allowed the students to look beyond the campus walls and see how they could make other people’s lives better, while going through the challenge of starting a new phase of their own lives,” Malaszczyk said. “They were given insight into living in impoverished countries—to see how much joy a simple shoe box filled with soap and small toys could give a child who has nothing. More importantly, they were able to put into action the core values of the University and to come together as a team, friends, and family.”