Rock Hill students reach out

Published 9:38 pm Saturday, November 22, 2008

ELIZABETH TOWNSHIP — It is a testimony to what can happen when bright minds work collectively.

Rock Hill teacher Tamela Reed asked students in her Spanish classes if they wanted to prepare gift boxes as part of Operation Christmas Child.

The students readily agreed and Reed thought at first she might wind up with a couple dozen boxes that would be given to children.

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This week when the students prepared their donations for shipment, the number of gift boxes totaled nearly 70.

Reed was delighted.

“I think sometimes people give teenagers a bum rap. There are a lot of good kids with big hearts who wanted to help others. They’re not all that way (bad) and this kind of proves it,” Reed said.

Shane Bordelon was one of the students who wanted to share the spirit of Christmas with kids around the world.

“Just knowing that more kids will get a gift at Christmas made my day,” Bordelon said. He said he was touched when he saw the Operation Christmas Child video and realized how a shoebox of Christmas gifts could have such an impact on a child.

Ashley Ferguson and her step-sister, Rachel May, each donated four shoeboxes to the effort.

Ferguson said she hopes that, along with the toys and other gifts, the recipient of the shoeboxes finds something else in that shoebox: A friend.

Both ladies included a letter in each box, asking the child to write to them.

“I want them to know there is someone who loves them and cares about them. Just because we are miles away doesn’t mean we can’t have a relationship,” Ferguson said.

Operation Christmas Child is the brainchild of the Rev. Franklin Graham, son of the Rev. Billy Graham. Donors fill a shoe box with Christmas gifts. A Christian tract is included in each box, telling the story of Jesus Christ.

The boxes are given to children around the world on Christmas Day as part of a world-wide evangelistic outreach.