Campus packs record-breaking Operation Christmas Child boxes
For eight years, Charleston Southern University students have packed boxes for Operation Christmas Child, which are distributed around the world to needy children. That first year, CSU packed 300 boxes. This year, CSU students, faculty and staff packed a record-breaking 5,248 boxes.
Laurie Diel, assistant to the dean of students, prompted the campus to dream big. After the packing party on Nov. 14, Diel said, “Faith makes the impossible possible.” And, responding to the report that CSU had packed more boxes than any other university in the country, Diel said, “You don’t have to go to a BIG school to do BIG things.”
Students were inspired in part by CSU senior, Hope Ivanova, an education major, who received a box as a child. Originally from Bulgaria, Ivanova was living in the country of Macedonia, where her parents were missionaries, when she received a box. She and her family still refer to it as a “box of love.”
Vlad Prokhnevskiy spoke in chapel at CSU and told how as a boy in Ukraine, he received a box, the first gift he ever received. One of nine children, Prokhnevskiy and his family came to the U.S. when he was 12. Now a businessman in Charlotte, he volunteers his time to speak to organizations about the power of a box packed with school supplies, hygiene items and a few toys. He said, “Children are the future of the world.”