Some 36 needy area children should have a brighter Christmas, thanks to efforts of a group of EMU students.
The EMU campus community responded to an annual appeal from the department of applied social sciences to purchase gifts with $985 in contributions.
Stephanie DeHart, a senior social work major from Roanoke, Va., gets wrapped up in her work. Photo by Jim Bishop
Around 15 students, all social work majors, used the funds to purchase clothing and toys from local retail outlets and wrapped the gifts.
Student organizers worked from names and “wish lists” of children sponsored for special services by the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Department of Social Services (DSS).
The group’s original fund goal was $750 this year. When it appeared that the goal wouldn’t be met, organizers made a second campus wide appeal. The original goal was surpassed, and student organizers had the “problem” of going back to Social Services for several more names.
“Every year this project touches a soft spot in my heart,” said Krista D. Burkholder, who helped organize this year’s effort under the auspices of the student organization, Social Work is People (SWIP). Burkholder is a senior social work major from Lancaster, Pa.
EMU social work students (l. to r.) Stephanie DeHart, Roanoke, Va.; Anna Woelk, Hillsboro, Kan., Marsha Kanagy, Timberville, Va., and Anna Woelk, Hillsboro, Kan., prepare to gift-wrap presents for delivery to the Harrisonburg- Rockingham Department of Social Services. Photo by Jim Bishop
“This service project offers a tangible way for students to help respond to local needs while it his demonstrates what a generous, caring community EMU is,” Burkholder said. “I’m thankful to be part of it.”
The presents will be delivered in time for distribution at the Social Service department’s annual “Visit With Santa” Christmas party on Saturday, Dec. 12.