It’s the season of giving and thanks, and the Student Involvement Committee is encouraging students to remember those in the community who are less fortunate.
From Nov. 30 through Dec. 14 a collection site will be open next to the new Christmas tree in the Campus Center. Students will be able to drop off donations that will be given to three different charities in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Due to the timeliness of the charity drive, many families will be able to enjoy the donations over the holiday season.
Seniors Arthur Gutnik and Jocelyn Fetsch are two SIC members that coordinated a majority of this event.
“We saw it as a way to involve campus with the Christmas tree,” Gutnik said.
From Nov. 30 to Dec. 6, students are asked to give nonperishable food items that will be donated to the Gladys Ray Shelter. Starting Dec. 5 and going through Dec. 9, toys that are donated go to the Toys for Tots, which is run by the Marine Corps with help from the United Way. Finishing off the charity event will be donations of clothing that will be given to the New Life Center. The organizations were chosen based on their importance in the community and because they receive less traffic and donations compared to some more well-known organizations.
“It’s important to be involved in the community,” Fetsch said. “We hope people hear about this and say, ‘Wow, they actually do this kind of stuff.’”
The SIC wanted to try out a charity event this year because they saw how beneficial used goods could be. It was noted that at the end of the semester many students who lived on campus donated their belongings in a community box placed in each dorm building. The SIC wanted to take that idea and encourage students to donate with a more specific purpose in mind. Because this is the first year SIC has done a charity drive, student involvement is vital.
“It’s our first year so we don’t know what to expect, we just hope it goes well,” Fetsch said.
The purchase of the Christmas tree corresponds with the beginning of the charity event, and the two are meant to complement each other.
Nathalie Rinehardt, who is the assistant director of student leadership and faculty advisor for the SIC, oversaw both the purchase of the Christmas tree and the planning of the charity.
“Students love to give back to the community, and the tree will hopefully serve as a way to engage them,” Rinehardt said.
Some of the items that students are encouraged to give include toiletry items, socks, winter hats and gloves, cough drops and hand sanitizer. Another way to give is to purchase food with unused dining dollars.
“Doing this shows these people that there are those out there who do care about them,” Gutnik said. “It reminds me of how important it is to give back to the community and establish connections.”