Menlo College Athletics Donates 343 Gift-Filled Shoeboxes to Operation Christmas Child

Menlo College Athletics Donates 343 Gift-Filled Shoeboxes to Operation Christmas Child

Menlo College Athletics got into the giving spirit once again this holiday season and made a huge impact in the process. Coaches, staff, student-athletes from 15 varsity teams and an on-campus club, Menlo REACH, joined together to donate an impressive 343 gift-filled shoe boxes to Operation Christmas Child.

Operation Christmas Child is an initiative by Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world.  Since 1993, Samaritan’s Purse has collected and delivered more than 113 million gift-filled shoe boxes to children in over 150 countries through Operation Christmas Child.

“This has been a tradition for many years in my family, “said GSAC Commissioner Mike Daniels.  “I was happy to bring this venture to the conference and have so many athletes take part.  I was able to see some of the personal notes written by our student-athletes to these kids and it just reminds me of why we do what we do.”

2015 marked the second year that Menlo’s new conference, the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC), has encouraged schools to take part in a friendly contest to see which department could donate the most shoe boxes. In its first year in the conference, Menlo donated 343 boxes, 43 more than the entire conference donated the prior year. Servant leadership is front and center in the department’s mission statement and this initiative provided a great opportunity to put that on full display.

“Operation Christmas Child was the perfect opportunity to serve our department’s mission of creating servant leaders while helping those in need around the world,” said Director of Athletics Keith Spataro. “I’m proud of the way our student-athletes, coaches and staff joined together to make such a huge impact on the lives of so many this holiday season.”

In total, GSAC schools packed over 500 gift-filled shoe boxes that will be delivered to needy children around the world.  Teams worked together to gather toys, school supplies, hygiene items, and notes of encouragement.