SAAC fills 40 boxes for Operation Christmas Child

Published 6:37 am Thursday, December 1, 2016

Members of the Longwood Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) got a jump on holiday giving recently by organizing their annual Operation Christmas Child gift-giving fundraiser.

This year’s edition of the Lancer student-athlete group’s gift drive produced 40 boxes of toys and clothing items, purchased solely with funds and donations from the Longwood chapter of SAAC, an organization made up entirely of student-athletes who provide insight and guidance to the university regarding the student-athlete experience.

Along with a large contribution from Longwood SAAC, the Lancer baseball, men’s basketball, cross country and softball teams also provided extra donations to this year’s fundraiser. SAAC’s Operation Christmas Child committee used that money to purchase pens, notepads, bubbles, socks, gloves, hats, toy cars and dolls for boys and girls, ages 2-4.

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“It’s something that all of us enjoy, knowing we’re helping give Christmas presents to kids who might not otherwise get them,” said senior cross country runner Erica Mawyer, a SAAC member who organized this year’s initiative along with her fellow cross country senior Gracie Piekarski.

“In years past, we’ve only spent about $100, and it’s hard to really fill 40 boxes with just that. This year with all the extra donations, we filled every box,” Mawyer said.

This year’s SAAC Operation Christmas Child committee included Mawyer, Piekarski, men’s golfers Jordan Boulton and Patrick Gobran, softball players Jenna Carnes and Elizabeth McCarthy and women’s lacrosse player Madelyn Rollins.

Operation Christmas Child is an annual, international gift-giving initiative coordinated by Samaritan’s Purse, a nonprofit relief and development organization. Operation Christmas Child works with churches and community organizations around the world to collect toys, clothing and hygiene items that are packaged and distributed around the world to children in need. Longwood’s student-athletes dropped off their donations at the Heritage Baptist Church drop-off site in Farmville.