Last week, members of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority put the finishing touches on a shoebox filled with tiny wrapped goodies for girls overseas ages 10 to 14. These young women are participating in Operation Christmas Child, a project of the Samaritan’s Purse.

Operation Christmas Child is a project in which shoeboxes are filled with toys, games, school supplies, and hygiene supplies such as toothpaste. Each shoebox is geared toward a specific age group of either boys or girls. These boxes are then distributed by Samaritan’s Purse to needy children around the world. Samaritan’s Purse is an international relief and aid organization.

Sarah Lemont, junior nursing major, is the philanthropy chair for Alpha Xi Delta. She said the mission of the sorority is focused on the needs of children. The mission for this national Greek letter organization is “Choose Children.”

“It is very rewarding to know that you’ve been able to help better a child’s life,” she said.

The sorority has participated in several other efforts to help children this semester, including making “boo boo bunnies” for local daycare centers during rush and donating time to the Preble Street Resource Center soup kitchen during the holiday season.

Elizabeth Millett, senior sociology major, is president of Alpha Xi Delta and chose the sorority because of its focus on children.

“The main focus is philanthropy, and I want to be a teacher,” she said.

She explained that the sorority is national, but each chapter has a right to choose which charity to donate time and money to, as long as it goes to children.

“We are very excited about participating in this cause to brighten a child’s day,” said Lemont.

As the philanthropy chair, Lemont is responsible for finding new ways in which the sorority can continue the “Choose Children” mission. She has gotten ideas from her church as well as local events in Portland, such as the “Light the Night Walk” to sponsor the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She also encourages suggestions for philanthropy ideas from students and the community.

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