That’s what students from Mindi Wilds’ class from Bowman Hills School found out on Nov. 13 as they joined the Rehab Services team at Life Care Centers of America’s corporate offices on Keith Street.
The children gathered around a conference room table laid out with supplies to pack for kids in need around the world. Each child had his or her own responsibility, and together, they quickly filled 75 boxes, assembly-line style.
“I like that we get to help other kids,” said Janisa Ryan, one of the students.
“You get to pack toys and stuff to help people,” Emily Self added.
The boxes will go to boys ages 10-14.
According to Sheila Baehm, director of regulatory compliance, this is the demographic that tends to receive the fewest shoeboxes.
Samaritan’s Purse, the organization that runs Operation Christmas Child, recommends packing a variety of items, so the Rehab team provided a combination of personal hygiene items, toys and candy — from washcloths to yo-yos to collapsible water bottles that children can reuse.
“We were very specific about what we chose,” Baehm explained.
The plastic boxes were a direct choice as well. Baehm shared with the students about how children in other countries can use the boxes and lids for years to come, to store not just the items the group sends them but food as well.
Life Care’s corporate rehab department was able to buy the supplies through several fundraisers associates held throughout the year. Among them were selling coffee at the corporate offices, participating in a bowling league and holding a car wash.
Life Care contacted the Bowman Hills School to see if some students could take part in the efforts and learn about the joy of giving. Wilds volunteered her class.
“It’s a good opportunity for the kids to reach out to other kids,” said Wilds, “to think outside of themselves.”
The group prayed over the boxes after they were assembled, and as a thank-you, the Rehab department provided a pizza lunch for the Bowman Hills participants.
Life Care wrapped up the Operation Christmas Child collections for 2013 on Monday.