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CSU breaks Operation Christmas Child national record

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CSU breaks Operation Christmas Child national record

Charleston Southern students, staff and volunteers fill boxes for the Operation Christmas Child event on Nov. 12.

The challenges of the year 2020 did not hold the Charleston Southern University campus back from achieving another record-setting goal.

On Thursday, students, faculty and staff packed Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes until every last stuffed animal, pencil, jump rope and toothbrush had a home.

This year’s goal was set at 7,000 packed boxes. CSU packed 7,095, not only beating last year’s national record when the campus hit 5,249 shoeboxes, but surpassing the new goal by 95 boxes late last night.

“God is certainly bigger than any pandemic,” Laurie Diel, executive administrative assistant for the VP of Student Life, said. Diel helps lead the OCC project for the university.

“You just have to have faith in the promise that He will do immeasurably more than we can ever imagine,” Diel said.

More than 3,000 stuffed animals, 10,000 T-shirts, and thousands of other hygiene and school supplies were donated throughout the year.

Several opportunities were shared with the campus community and university supporters, including Dental Health Month in February, Squeaky Clean (hygiene) Month in April, School Supplies Month in August, and Socks for the Box in September.

Operation Christmas Child has delivered shoebox gifts to more than 178 million children in more than 150 countries since 1993.

For many, the shoebox is their first gift ever received. According to their website, an OCC shoebox is also a tangible expression of God’s love — a complete stranger clear across the world gave selflessly so that a child could feel joy. Organizers said it also brings the opportunity to reach every child with the gospel.