University Groups Spread Holiday Cheer Through Community Service

Pacific University community members recently embraced the spirit of the holiday season with a multitude of community service endeavors.

Na Haumana O Hawai'i, the university's Hawai'i Club, embarked on its annual toy drive to benefit the children of Western Farm Workers Association members. Students collected more than 100 toys for the low-income families, which will be presented at the association's annual holiday fundraiser party on Saturday, Dec. 20 in Hillsboro.

NHOH members' families back on the Islands gave back to their communities by helping the staff at the Hawai'i Office pack brown-bag meals to distribute to the homeless population over Thanksgiving week.

Pacific's Center for Civic Engagement organized a holiday version of its highly successful Give and Go program in which student residents donate food, clothing and housewares at the end of spring semester. Coordinated by student Meg Chapman, the Downsize December initiative featured students donating more than 85 pieces of clothing, four pairs of shoes, a set of bed sheets and blanket to New Avenues for Youth, a support organization for homeless Portland teenagers, at the end of Fall Semester. Additionally, school supplies were donated to Tom McCall Upper Elementary School in Forest Grove that will provide at least two students with sufficient writing paper for the upcoming semester.

Professional schools students and employees at the university's Hillsboro and Forest Grove campuses donated $423.10 in cash and more than 300 pounds of food to the Oregon Food Bank during the Great Turkey Challenge competition based around the Thanksgiving holiday. Speech-language pathology students within the School of Communication Sciences & Disorders donated the most and and captured the Golden Turkey trophy. The challenge was organized by audiology student Caitie Milligan.

Additionally, School of Audiology students brought toys and holiday cheer to young patients of the Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel.

Service and other civic engagement is deeply embedded in Pacific University's mission. The university recently made the President's Community Service Honor Roll for the fourth consecutive year.

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Dec. 15, 2014