An avid sportsman with strong leadership qualities, Mason Bird studies computer science as a college sophomore. He also enjoys his literature classes and is deeply interested in the way writing styles have changed over time. Mason Bird also prioritizes community service, whether through serving as a wrangler at Christian summer camp, coaching youth soccer, or participating in Operation Christmas Child.
Operation Christmas Child is a project of the Samaritan’s Purse International Relief organization, whose mission is to fulfill the words of Jesus, who, after relating the tale of the good Samaritan, said “Go and do likewise.” Volunteers pack shoeboxes with gifts, such as small toys, school supplies, hygiene items, and other small items like flashlights with extra batteries, T-shirts, socks, sunglasses, and ball caps. Many volunteers take the opportunity to host shoebox-packing parties in their homes as a special Christmastime activity.
Once the shoebox is packed full, the lid is secured with a rubber band and the box is labeled for the gender and age range appropriate for the gift. Volunteers often include a personal note to the recipient, and those who include their names and addresses often receive mail from the child. Once packed and secured, shoeboxes ready for delivery to children can be mailed to Operation Christmas Child headquarters in North Carolina, or dropped off in one of several locations that have addresses available online. A single flat-rate donation per shoebox covers the cost of shipping to a child in need somewhere in the world.