Throughout the holiday season, members of the Hobart and William Smith community have been partnering with area organizations and giving back in a variety of ways, ranging from the annual Holiday Gift Project and The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign to working with the local Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
“The pace of the semester doesn’t deter the generosity of those on the HWS campus and their meaningful efforts to engage in the community year-round, especially during this holiday season of giving,” says Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL) Katie Flowers.
The Holiday Gift Project, which delivers needed gifts such as books, warm clothes and educational games to preschool population-families in Geneva who receive assistance through Head Start and ABCD (Agri-Business Child Development), recently concluded another successful year. Facilitated by CCESL, the Gift Project served more than 80 students between Head Start and ABCD, delivering about $4,000 in gift items.
Caitlin Murphy ’20, under guidance from Assistant Professor of Education Audrey Roberson in her “Teaching English Language Learners” service learning class, worked with Head Start throughout the semester to organize the gift giving efforts. About one-third of the gifts were donated by students.
“Words simply cannot express the gratitude we have for the time and resources put in to this project,” says Geneva City Schools Head Start and Pre-K Director Karissa Schutt. “This donation will make a big impact for our families this holiday season. Many thanks to everyone involved in the HWS community!”
In addition to the Holiday Gift Project, here are some of the other activities from the season:
- Through the HWS Holiday Reception, hosted by President Mark D. Gearan and Mary Herlihy Gearan on Dec. 17, hams will be collected and donated to the Community Lunch Program. More than 200 are donated annually along with other food items.
- Dozens of HWS students volunteered ringing bells throughout the area for The Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle Campaign.
- Members of the Hobart lacrosse team wrapped and delivered presents to Geneva children, including through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
- Director of Alcohol and Other Drugs Prevention Brittany Broderick baked 2,500 dog biscuits that were then sold to members of the HWS community. Proceeds from the sales are being donated to Animal Behavior Services in Rochester, N.Y., which rehabilitates dogs for adoption.
- Before leaving for winter break, Devin Doeblin ’20, a Civic Leader with CCESL, is replenishing bookshelves across Geneva through the Community Bookshelves program. Ranging from schools and churches to community organizations, there are 10 locations where Geneva youth can pick up gently used books.
- In November, the campus Post Office collaborated with Our Lady of Peace Parish to provide food needed by local families for Thanksgiving.