$6,000 in gifts was donated or purchased for this year’s project
The Public Service Office thanks the Colleges community for the outstanding commitment and contributions made to this year’s annual holiday gift program. The PSO works directly with the Community Action Partnership, in conjunction with social services agencies and faith communities to collect the names of needy families that could benefit from community support over the holiday season.
This year the PSO took responsibility for 15 families which totaled 82 individuals. Eighty percent of families served in the entire program are from Geneva.
Hobart and William Smith student groups participating included 3 Miles Lost, the Jumpstart Geneva North Street team, Hobart Student Government, Community Service House, William Smith Congress, Rotaract, and the Laurel Society, among others. All donated their time and money during the busy final exam time.
Many campus departments collected money and/or sponsored families, often getting everything on the family’s or child’s list. Students working through the Office of Residential Education sponsored 20 individuals. Assistant Director Kerry Rusak was instrumental in the process. Additional support came from Alumni House, Admissions, Coxe Hall, Communications, the William Smith and Hobart Athletics departments as well as individual faculty members, staff and students.
In addition, the PSO partnered with Tina Bauder, a teacher at South Seneca Middle School and her students, who sponsored two people from the Hobart and William Smith list. They raised $250 for their two middle school-aged individuals through Christmas wreath and baked good sales, and then took a field trip to do the shopping.
“They really got into it and became very particular shoppers,” said Bauder, whose husband is Ave Bauder '81, director of public service. “One teen needed to buy a pair of size 10-1/2 boots but decided he should get size 11 so the boy could ‘grow into them.’
“They were shopping for kids basically their age and I think it had an impact on them to think about being on the receiving end of the gifts they were buying.”