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Students donate, fill shoeboxes for needy
Students at Glynn Middle School kicked of the season of giving with a bang this year, gathering donations that will benefit people at home and around the globe.

The week prior to Thanksgiving, the school's Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter - led by teachers Melanie Weese and Luanne Fendig - posed a challenge to the entire school: Help bring in items to create shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. The initiative is led by Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief group, that provides a wrapped shoebox full of essentials for needy children around the world.

Eighth-grader Rosalyn Bosarge, the Glynn Middle School FCA captain, came up with the idea to help Operation Christmas Child. By the end of the week, the students were able to pack at least 130 shoeboxes to be sent to 130 different countries - a box for each.

"There's hygiene items, small toys, some clothing. Some kids went above and beyond. This was the first year we've done it, and I think it was a tremendous effort," Weese said. "To look beyond themselves and think about communities and service, it was wonderful," she said.

Weese's sixth-grade daughter, Sarah, a member of the FCA chapter, was amazed at having an opportunity to participate in such a far-reaching project.

"It was really fun to be able to wrap these boxes. It was fun to see how many boxes we had. The number surprised me - the whole counter was covered," Sarah said, pointing to a counter top running the length of a wall in her mother's classroom.

"It taught me that other countries don't have nearly as much as we do. It showed me how much it is needed for us to give back. It put a smile on my face."

Weese says she kept a tally in her classroom of how each class was helping during the week, keeping up some healthy competition. Each grade was given a specific age child, and hallways in the south corridors were given one gender while the north corridor was given another.

During the same week, the Junior Beta Club organized a canned food drive, also posing the challenge to the entire school.

At the same time students were asked to bring in donations for Operation Christmas Child, the school collected more than 700 items for Sparrows Nest food pantry in Brunswick.

* Reporter Sarah Lundgren writes about education and other local topics. Contact her at, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 322.

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