Spreading Ocelot cheer

Campus Life

Schoolcraft hosts gift drive to benefit local children in need

by Madison Ling | Campus Life Editor
Image courtesy of tampabay.com

During this season of giving and holiday magic, consider joining together with some fellow Ocelots to participate in the “Share Joy” program which collects presents to benefit the homeless children residing in the Wayne Family Center.

“The Share Joy program has been occurring for roughly the past 15 to 20 years after being created by retired professor, Dr. Faye Schuett,” said English Professor and Department Chair, Anna Maheshwari. “Its goal is to give children who may have never had a chance to celebrate or who have never received a gift, to have that cherished experience.”

The Liberal Arts department and Honors Scholars program have partnered together and need an additional 10 to 15 volunteers for Dec. 13.

During that time, volunteers will assist in wrapping presents before they are to be delivered. The gift collection itself is happening now until Dec. 9.

This year’s goal is to obtain 80 gifts for each child, on average, that is housed at the Wayne Family Center and any surplus presents will be given to another shelter known as First Step.

Students and faculty that are interested in participating can email or report to Maheshwari’s office in LA543 to receive an assigned child or to request a specific age and gender that they would like to shop for, in addition to a free gift bag to place items in.

Participants are encouraged to spend an average of $25 to $30 on gifts which may include an item of warm clothing, toiletries and small snack foods like chocolate or granola bars. Toys are also more than welcome, but shoppers should be advised to include batteries, if necessary.

Participants can drop their unwrapped presents off to Maheshwari’s office or the Liberal Arts Dean’s office in LA543 to be wrapped and delivered Dec. 13.

“Tote bags are also a recommended item to give since many children and teens carry their belongings between shelters in plastic bags that tear very easily. The gift of a more durable bag will serve as a reminder of a wonderful holiday and a reliable way of keeping their items.” Maheshwari continued.

For more information or to get involved in the “Share Joy” program, email Anna Maheshwari at amaheshw@schoolcraft.edu or call 734-462-7188.