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December 2016
Operation Christmas Child

FFA Leads School in Operation Christmas Child

The holiday season is associated with “giving” and as a time to help others. A highlighted example of this spirit is Atwater High School’s FFA program that was inspired last year by FFA member Amanda Skidmore who inspired and led the students at Atwater High School in “Operation Christmas Child. The program is coordinated through an organization called Samaritan’s Purse where school supplies, toys, and hygiene items are collected and placed in shoe boxes and distributed globally to impoverished countries.

“I wanted to continue the tradition that was started,” said Atwater High School senior Jasmine Flores. “Knowing you can touch someone else’s life and make a difference is truly the best feeling one can have.”

Jasmine’s goal was to get at least 200 shoe boxes organized prior to the Christmas holiday. She communicated with the Atwater High School Leadership class and FFA Leadership class in organizing the event. The process expanded out to other departments and classes at Atwater High School. The school participated with various donations of goodies that went into each box. Additional funds were raised through a sponsored fundraiser at Applebee’s restaurant. When it was all completed, 232 boxes of various items was delivered to Gateway Church, loaded on a semi-truck, and shipped off to various countries where the boxes will travel via boat, plane, train, camel, and foot to various children and families.

“This was a school-wide and community effort,” said Flores. “It’s about making a positive difference in the lives of people and the effort of implementing the holiday spirit of giving.”

Audrey Esau
Atwater FFA Reporter