Surry’s softball team takes time to help less fortunate

Members of the Surry Community College softball team come together during November to pack boxes full of toys and personal hygiene items for Operation Christmas Child, which distributes the boxes to more than 100 countries across the world.

In today’s digital age and fast-paced world, it’s so easy to forget to count our blessings. It’s something members of Surry Community College’s softball team recently got reminded of as they participated in Operation Christmas Child for the sixth consecutive year.

A Christian organization, Operation Christmas Child is a program in which shoeboxes are filled with toys, school supplies, personal items and other small gifts and distributed to less fortunate children in more than 100 countries across the world. Allison Parker, a sophomore pitcher and right fielder from Wilkes Central, said she and teammates packed their shoeboxes with hygiene items such as toothbrushes – things we take for granted but are considered luxuries in other parts of the world. Coloring books, toys, footballs and Barbie Dolls were also included in many of the boxes to make sure recipients were also able to have a fun Christmas.

“When I was in high school we went to the Samaritan’s Purse packaging center in Boone. They showed us a video of kids in other counties getting the boxes and they were smiling and laughing. And that just makes me happy that they are getting something they are not used to getting,” Parker said. “Not only does this give us a chance to put a smile on a kid’s face, but also to sit back and think about how good we have it compared to other kids.”

Paige Rideout, a sophomore first baseman from South Stokes, said she had never participated in Operation Christmas Child before joining the Surry Knights’ softball team last year. She said she was just as happy to take part in the softball team this season as she was her freshman year.

“It got me excited. It amazes me how something so little can make such a big difference in someone else’s life,” Rideout said. “I just know when they see those little boxes they know someone is thinking about them and that makes me happy.”

Surry softball coach Blaine Bullington said one of the Knights’ players got the team involved with Operation Christmas Child six years ago – something that has remained a team tradition ever since. He said members of this year’s team got together in November at the college, enjoyed pizza together and had fun bonding while doing something for somebody else.

“Doing this has just been a blessing for our whole team. These young kids that receive these boxes are very excited about it because they probably don’t get a lot of things in their life, but I think it is almost as exciting for our girls to do that. We had about 16 or 17 girls that took their time to do this. Just being part of that and having an opportunity to do that was something everyone was excited about.”

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Posted: September 25, 2020