Service opportunities available for the holidays

Nov 21, 2019
helping hands

With the holidays just around the corner, many volunteer opportunities are available for students, staff and faculty who want to transform society for the better.

The Newman University family is fortunate enough to be able to donate their time, talents and treasures through many service projects taking place on and off-campus.

On Dec. 3, Newman University takes part in a global celebration of giving. In an increasingly divided world, Giving Tuesday represents a new global ritual based on joy and hope, proving acts of kindness and goodwill that can transcend country, race, religion and political ideals, and create connections between people.

Those who are interested can choose to donate to Newman to provide a lasting gift of giving — the gift of education — to a student in need.

Through Newman University’s Traditions and Transitions (T&T), students improve their academic success and help in their social transition to college life.

T&T students are tasked with creating and sponsoring volunteer opportunities that will help transform society. This year, there will be two different drives taking place during the month of November.

A homeless sock drive will take place until Nov. 25. Men’s tall, fuzzy, wool, warm socks are preferred and can be brought to any box that will be located inside all buildings around campus.

Another opportunity that will be available until Nov. 25 is the Warm Hands, Warm Hearts clothing drive. Donation boxes found around campus can be filled with coats, hats, gloves and mittens. Donations must be new or lightly used.

Freshmen ASC community leaders will host a supply drive Nov. 12-20. School supplies, as well as canned and packaged goods, are greatly appreciated by the families at St. Anthony Family Shelter.

Along with volunteer opportunities going on around campus, there is another great opportunity off-campus at the Lord’s Diner coordinated by Campus Ministry, which has been an ongoing tradition during the holidays.

The Lord’s Diner is a warm place where struggling families and individuals can sit and enjoy a meal. Its mission “is to serve a nutritious meal with dignity and respect to anyone who is hungry.”

Volunteers can sign up to serve dinner on the third Thursday each month from 5:15-7:45 p.m. A food handler’s card will be needed in order to participate. If a volunteer needs a food handler’s card, the Lord’s Diner provides a short class that individuals can take in a couple of minutes. Volunteers should plan to arrive 10 minutes early on their first visit to complete this requirement.

For more information or to register as a volunteer, email Assistant Director of Campus Ministry Emily Simon at [email protected].

There is one more opportunity that will help make a difference in someone’s life this holiday season.

On Dec.12, volunteers are needed to help distribute gifts gathered from the Angel Trees by the Salvation Army.

Rosemary Niedens, associate vice president for academic affairs at Newman, works with the Salvation Army to coordinate the volunteer effort.

“This event is cohesive for the community. Volunteers come from all areas of the community — businesses, nonprofits, retirees, high schools, colleges, manufacturing, government, etc. This brings us together for a common cause of caring and concern,” Niedens explained.

Volunteers can serve as an escort, a gift-runner or work at the stocking stuffer tables. More than 16,000 people will be assisted with 6,000 being under the age of 16.

Newman University has worked at the distribution for 30 years and volunteers are highly valued because of their willing spirit and can-do attitudes. Also, Newman’s student population provides many bilingual volunteers, which are very appreciated.

To sign up for two or more hours starting at 7:30 a.m., email Elizabeth Pucket at [email protected].

Niedens added, “While this event is during finals week, it is at the end. There are many shifts that can meet almost anyone’s schedule. I would strongly recommend this opportunity for anyone to see the caring community we live in and the wonderful organizations that exist to serve while making a child’s Christmas happier.”