Basketball players and coaches fill shoeboxes to donate to Operation Christmas Child

Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 9:00 am

During the upcoming season, Louisa’s boys basketball coach Brian Wilson is looking for his players to make quite a few nice passes on the court. Yet, before the regular season has even officially started, players have already made what will be one of their most meaningful assists of the season.

Team captains Zach Spicer (l) and Chris Robinson hold the boxes that the team filled, while coach Brian Wilson holds the signed picture of the team.

Team captains Zach Spicer (l) and Chris Robinson hold the boxes that the team filled, while coach Brian Wilson holds the signed picture of the team.

Over the past few weeks, members of the team collected toys to place in shoeboxes. The unorthodox containers serve as the centerpiece of the Operation Christmas Child movement, a yearly tradition created by the Christian charity Samaritan’s purse, which aims to aid underprivileged children. Participants fill shoeboxes to the brim with Christmas gifts, which are then dispersed to those less fortunate around the community, country and the world.

Wilson said it was a promotional video for the foundation during a service at his church that spurred him into action. He presented the cause to his players, who he said immediately jumped on board. He’s hoping their eagerness to help gives local residents an idea of what his team and their mission is really about.

“As a coach, I always like to do something for the community,” Wilson said. “This is the first opportunity we’ve really had to do something. We haven’t had a gym, so we’ve always been on the go. We want to let people in the community know that we’re here.”

The Lions filled two shoeboxes for the cause, packing the box with items such as dolls, notepads, candy and small toys. The Lions also included a signed team photo so that the box’s recipients can put a face to the team that helped them.

For players, it gave them more than just an opportunity to help others, but also a fresh perspective on what it means to be a team.

To read the entire story, see the Dec. 5 edition of The Central Virginian.

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