Shreya Gundavarpu | Staff Writer

Giving is not just about making a donation. It’s about making a difference.

On Friday, November 20, National Junior Honor Society members marched towards Mason High School carrying boxes and gifts to wrap for kids around the world. More than 40 National Junior Honors Society members went to the MHS Kiva after school for the Operation Christmas Child project, one that is coordinated with the high school’s NHS members.

According to eighth grader and NJHS co-president Anna Mullinger, Operation Christmas Child is giving gifts to those in need, but it is also helping NJHS itself.

“We are creating boxes full of either basic hygiene items or toys to send around the world to kids in need that wouldn’t usually have those items,” Mullinger said. “It was a great cause because it is not only helping kids around the world, but it is helping NJHS itself and I think it’s really cool because it’s getting people who aren’t or wouldn’t usually be involved with this kind of stuff to help because it’s as simple as bringing in a few pencils and a shoe box.”

The event was for a great cause and it is important for the students to give back to the less fortunate said eighth grade language arts teacher and co-advisor of NJHS Katie Lin.

“Operation Christmas Child is founded by a non-profit organization called Samaritan’s Purse,” Lin said. “I think that this cause is extremely special, because it allows our children to impact a global community.  The shoeboxes filled with gifts get distributed internationally, and it’s pretty awesome for eighth graders to participate in an event so far-reaching. It’s extremely important for those of us who are more fortunate to slow down and spend some time giving back.”

According to Lin, the kids enjoyed being around high school NHS members and that this project is an incredible learning opportunity.

“I think the NJHS students enjoyed interacting with high school students,” Lin said. “The high school NHS did a great job of setting up a fun and organized event, complete with care package stations, refreshments, and holiday music. More than that, however, I believe the NJHS students enjoyed the event because it allowed them to help children globally. To actually get your hands ‘dirty’ by packaging the items and catering each shoe box for a specific gender and age group – that will hopefully leave a lasting impact on the students.”

Eighth grader Neha Patil, a member of NJHS, said she enjoyed the event.

“I loved it and everything about it,” Patil said,”I liked how we could hang out with friends and help people in need at the same time. It was fun because we could choose what we put in each box and each box was different. We should definitely do something like this again soon.”