Students from the School of Business Administration’s Freshmen Experience class (FEXP) compiled and wrapped 102 Christmas boxes for children in the Dominican Republic. The gifts will be delivered and distributed through Operation Christmas Child.
Thirty-five freshmen and nine upperclassmen came together in early December to put together the gift boxes, which included unique gifts for each age group.
“The vast majority of students are deeply touched by this project,” said Karl Malaszczyk, Esq., Assistant Professor for the School of Business Administration. “We can really see that by the number of upperclassmen that volunteer to come back and help the freshmen year after year. For many freshmen, the project is a rude awakening to just how poor some people in the world are. We've had students that used this FEXP project as a topic in other courses, like public speaking. For some students, they have told us that their FEXP service project is one of the highlights of their Holy Family career.”
Students donated hygiene products and helped make crafts to fill each box.
“The students donate a lot but the majority of the out of pocket costs are covered by the Professors,” Malaszczyk said. “The students do, however, give a ton of time in making the crafts outside of class. For example, my wife buys socks, felt, and googly eyes during the year and the students turn that into sock puppets.”
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Franklin Graham’s charity, Samaritan’s Purse. They deliver Christmas presents to needy children around the world. Each box includes personal care items, educational materials, and toys. The charity also provides the children with Bibles and information about the Christmas story.
“This project is daunting but every time I think, ‘well maybe this year we can just collect cans or bake cookies,’ the students get us so wound up that it was a positive experience that we go back to the drawing board and do more the next year,” Malaszczyk said.
This is the third year that the School of Business Administration freshmen have contributed to Operation Christmas Child, totaling 280 Christmas boxes for children around the world.