Students Donate Winter Essentials to Children in the Area

Photo+by+John+Blashke.

Photo by John Blashke.

John Blashke, Staff Writer

The Inter Greek Council will host its fourth “Adopt a Classroom” initiative, a program that encourages students and faculty to donate new winter clothes and other essential items for those in need. UC members will be able to drop off their items to the special bins located in the residence halls and at the SLCE office until Dec. 1.

The winter gear and supplies will be packed up and hand delivered by members of the UC Greek community. The donations will be given to 81 first graders at Kernan Elementary school.

Fran Lucia, the advisor for greek life, said she loves how students are able to interact with these children and help them with what they need.

“We take a box over to the school to have the opportunity to meet these  6-year-olds and spend some time talking to them,” Lucia said. “It’s an early holiday gift.”

The UC community at large is helping make this fundraiser a success. Sodexo is once again setting up their mitten tree in the library to assist the cause. The Greeks also hosted a bake sale on Thursday, Nov. 14 to generate funds for more supplies.

Gabriella Ortiz, a sister of Omega Phi Beta Sorority Inc. and the vice president of the Inter Greek Council, commented on the good nature of the event.

“We pride ourselves on community service,” Ortiz said. “It is important to us because there are kids that are not fortunate enough to have basic things like jackets, hats, and gloves—it feels good to provide that for these kids.”

The program was started five years ago, but last year the Inter Greek Council opted to do the Back to School Backpack Program, which attained similar success. Backpacks filled with school supplies were donated to needy elementary schools in the community.

The students believe that their efforts yield the best results when aimed at helping the development of the greater Utica area.

Senior Raven Manchester, a sister of Kappa Delta Phi National Affiliated Sorority, said she is glad to be participating in events that reach beyond the college alone.

“I love getting involved in the community and helping individuals that are not just relevant to campus life,” she said.

Manchester also commented on the feeling of this greater service.

“There’s not enough community involvement in the Utica area I believe—so if students hosted more events that appealed to the city’s children and their families, that could go a long way towards fostering relationships and combating stereotypes,” Manchester said. “It’s what being in Greek life is all about.”

Knowing that you have genuinely helped another person is one of the most rewarding feelings there is, according to Lucia.

“Our favorite part is seeing the faces of these kids light up because they are so excited and in return that puts smiles on all of our faces,” Lucia said.