Student launches effort to help African children


ZAMBIA VISIT IVCC sophomore Delaney Ridley visits with children in Zambia during this past summer. At IVCC, Ridley is working with student government and other clubs and organizations to fill shoe boxes for needy children in Zambia and around the world. Students and student groups are being asked to donate items or to give monetary donations to help pay for shipping the boxes. The entire project is sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse through its Operation Christmas Child project.

Delaney Ridley, IV Leader columnist

My name is Delaney Ridley and I am a sophomore representative for Student Government.

As a member of student government, I was asked to come up with a goal that would challenge the school yet benefit the community.
A project that I was familiar with offers both student and community involvement for service with an end benefit that affects the global community.

This organization is Samaritans Purse and the project is Operation Christmas Child. This program sends shoe boxes that are filled with simple gifts to kids all around the world who are living in poverty.  These gifts can include items such as small toys or stuffed animals, crayons and coloring books, as well as toothbrushes, soap or other hygiene products.  The boxes are marked for a boy or girl and a suggested age to help in distribution.
This past summer, I took a trip to Zambia, Africa. I went  with a nonprofit organization called African Vision of Hope. While in Zambia, I spent my days working at three different schools and spending time with children teaching Bible lessons and fun activities.

My experience in a third world country allowed me to witness the extreme joy that children receive over a simple gift. These gifts fill children with a sense that they are loved and this love gives them hope.  Hope helps them see that they will have a future.

At IVCC, the student government sent out a challenge to all clubs challenging them to donate one gift-filled shoe box per club.  Our challenge then would be to raise the funds to ship these boxes through donations.

Over the first week of November, members of student government had a table set up in the main lobby for students to drop off gift-filled shoeboxes or donations. It costs $7 to ship each shoebox so all cash donations are used to assist with these costs.

If you would like to know more about this organization, you can check out This organization has been part of my holiday season for many years and I hope that this year it can be included in yours as well.