Giving Back During the Holidays

BY Jackie Clifford

Staff Reporter

Sacred Heart University offers multiple different ways for students to get involved in community service. This can give students the opportunity to give back and help others, especially during the holiday season. One way students are able to do this is through the many different organizations and clubs on campus.

According to The Princeton Review, “in the colleges most engaged in community service list, Sacred Heart is ranked number 13.”

Junior Claire Vreeland said she is heavily involved with the Volunteer Programs and Service Learning Office at Sacred Heart University.

Currently, Volunteer Programs and Service Learning Office is running Adopt a Family.

Adopt a Family provides students and faculty with the opportunity to give back to families who are less fortunate during this holiday season by donating, gifts, clothes and food.

Those looking to Adopt a Family can sign up in the Volunteer Programs office in HC109.

“There is always something to do through the Volunteer Programs office. They offer weekly opportunities to schools, churches, food banks, and much more that people can go to during the year and during the holiday season,” said Vreeland.

Sophomore Kayleigh Johnson and Junior Lindsey McCarthy are both involved with Love Your Melon.

Johnson said she loves how Love Your Melon is dedicated to supporting childhood cancer and striving to make those who are battling it more comfortable and aware that people are there for them.

This holiday season Love Your Melon gave back by visiting and making dinner for those staying at The Ronald McDonald House in New Haven.

“My favorite part about giving back is knowing what a difference we’re able to make on the kid’s lives, whether it be big or small. This, to me, is one of the most rewarding feelings,” said McCarthy.

Junior Katelyn White is currently the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) specialist of Alpha Delta Pi. RMHC is Alpha Delta Pi’s philanthropy and they are always thinking of new ways to donate and give back.

“This semester the sisters took part in Pop Tab Wars, where they collect and donate the tabs of aluminum cans. So far, the girls have donated 30,000 pop tabs with all of them being donated to the RMHC where they will turn them in for money as a donation,” said White.

Throughout the semester, sisters of Alpha Delta Pi have also been making visits to the Ronald McDonald house in New Haven approximately twice a month. During their most recent visits, they have baked cookies and made arts and craft turkey leaves, and on the popsicle sticks, they wrote what they were thankful for.

“I feel so strongly about giving back during the holiday season, because that is when families need it most. Not only can the holidays be a really emotional time for some, it is also extremely expensive. Being able to support families by raising money for their Christmas gifts or their holiday dinners can be so meaningful for them,” said sophomore Alpha Delta Pi Community Service Chair, Carly Niemiec.

White’s favorite part about giving back to the RMHC, especially during the holidays, is seeing the brightest smile on the children and family’s faces. She loves to know, that any help they receive, big or small, will make their days easier and brighter.

“The holidays are supposed to be a joyous time, and to be able to provide that in a time where the families need it the most, is what my sisters strive to do, all year round. Everyone should give back, big or small, during the holiday season. Bringing a smile to those who need it the most is the least everyone could do this time of year,” said White.

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