Each year, the HWS community gathers to celebrate the holiday season. HWS faculty, staff and friends are invited to attend the annual holiday party hosted by President Mark D. Gearan and Mary Herlihy Gearan to celebrate the close of another year. With this annual event also comes a tradition of giving; each year, guests are asked to bring donations of canned ham or other food items for the Geneva Community Lunch Program.
This year, members of the HWS community contributed nearly 200 canned hams and $150 in monetary donations to the program, which serves hot lunches five days a week. The Colleges have been donating canned ham to aid the lunch program through the holiday gathering since 2005.
“The Community Lunch Program is such a vital program in Geneva,” explains Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL) Katie Flowers. “Every week day, almost 60 individuals receive a hot, nutritious meal.”
This time of year is especially hard for those struggling in the community, and every donation is appreciated. “It’s always so wonderful when people remember and are able to reach out to those less fortunate during this busy holiday season, as was the case with last Saturday’s HWS Holiday party with the generous donations of canned ham and cash contributions,” remarks Flowers.
Not only were the Colleges involved, but high school students also lent a hand in this year’s donation collection. “Geneva High School’s Interact Club was invaluable with their assistance in the food collection,” says Flowers.
The Community Lunch Program began in 1983 and is currently coordinated by the Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes. Each year, the program serves more than 20,000 meals – many of them to children under the age of 18. Students from HWS are active in the program, and each October and February, help to staff the program, making and serving lunches through the CCESL service-learning program.
Interested volunteers may contact CCESL at email@example.com or ext. 3825 for more information.
In the photo above, students from Geneva High School’s Interact Club collect food donations at the holiday party.