Virginia “Ginny” Cook’s (’69 BS, Education; ’73 MA Counseling/Rehabilitation) connection to Marshall and faith has had an impact around the world through her work with Operation Christmas Child. She spearheaded efforts in Portsmouth, Ohio that have touched children around the world by giving them a shoebox gift. To date, the organization has given more than 100 million shoebox gifts to children in 130 countries.
Her career has included teaching, working as a guidance counselor, writing a newspaper column, and working in higher education. She is also an active community advocate. Since 2004, Ginny has volunteered for Operation Christmas Child, an organization that gives simple, gift-filled boxes to hurting children around the world. She oversees the Southeast Ohio Area Team and works as a regional area coordinator for the organization. In 2007, she worked as part of a distribution team in Panama.
“When I was at MU, one of my favorite activities was getting to meet the International Students,” said Ginny. "I found it very exciting to learn of their cultures and their ways of living. I grew up in a very small town of 800 people. MU opened up another dimension, sort of a 'window on the world.'"