Campus Events, Campus wide

Charleston Southern sets a 10k shoebox goal

By Jenna Johnson | November 1, 2021

For two years in a row, Charleston Southern University has packed more Operation Christmas Child boxes than any other college or university in the nation. Students, faculty and staff packed 5,249 boxes in 2019 and more than 7,100 boxes in 2020.

Thousands of items are donated throughout the year to this cause through student-led initiatives, as well as the support of employees, alumni and community members. Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, has delivered shoebox gifts full of toys, school supplies, and hygiene items to more than 178 million children worldwide for nearly three decades. 

“This year, CSU continues to raise the bar for what we believe we can achieve through the generosity of our campus family,” Laurie Diel, executive assistant to the vice president of student life, said. Diel champions the shoebox ministry on campus. 

The goal for 2021 is 10,000 boxes.

“Bucs win at CSU! What better way to unite the campus than to share the Gospel across the globe through simple items in a shoebox?” said Diel.

The OCC Shoebox Challenge officially kicks off on Wednesday, November 3. Empty shoeboxes ready for pick up and filling are located in the Student Center 2nd floor lobby, the Dining Hall, and the Chapel lobby. 

CSU Collection Day will be held on November 10 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Faculty and staff are invited to bring packed boxes and place them on tables around the Reflection Pond. Employees engage in a friendly competition each year as they work to reach the shoebox goal. The staff department packing the most boxes (per member) gets a paid day off plus free tickets to Dollywood. The faculty department with the most boxes packed per member receives $500 for professional development as well as free Dollywood tickets.

Student winners also receive exciting prizes for packing the most shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. First place receives a $250 cash prize, eight tickets to Dollywood, and an opportunity to travel overseas with Samaritan’s Purse for a vision trip. Second place receives a $100 cash prize, four tickets to Dollywood, and an opportunity to visit the OCC Processing Center in December 2021.

The entire campus family is invited to the Sweet 16 OCC Packing Party on November 18. Attendees bring supplies to pack as many boxes as possible in the mission to bring Christmas joy to 10,000 girls and boys around the globe. 

To donate to CSU’s Operation Christmas Child shoebox goal or to learn more, visit 

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