PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — The Richwoods and Notre Dame swim teams are rivals.

The girls are accustomed to competing against one another. But earlier this month they put their rivalry aside for a good cause.

“We are so competitive in our sports against Richwoods,” said Notre Dame senior Deirdre Dwyer. “We’re rivals, that’s how it is. But you can be out of the pool and still be great friends with all of them.”

The Knights and Irish swim teams pooled their efforts for a packing party. The swimmers swimmers packed shoeboxes full of school supplies, hygiene items, toys and hope for kids around the world as part of the international Christmas project Operation Christmas Child.

“We’ve done a variety of things (with the shoeboxes),” said Richwoods senior Olivia jackson. “Hygiene products, towels, toothbrushes, soap, some supplies like toys, stuffed animals. stuff like that. We also packed school supplies.”

The shoeboxes will be delivered by the international relief agency Samaritan’s Purse to needy children around the around who may not otherwise receive anything at Christmastime.

“When they open the boxes, they’re going to feel loved,” said Richwoods senior Rachel Shussler. “They’re going to feel happy, they are going to feel like there are people who care for them and provide for them when they need it.”

The teams worked together on the project just days after they competed against one another in a conference swim meet.

“Makes me proud our community (works together),” said Notre Dame senior Cassie Lawless. “It doesn’t matter where we come from, who we are, what grade we are in. We’re coming together to something for the world. It makes me proud.”