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​The Giving Tree in the SCE office in Harkins Hall.

‘Months of Giving’ Community Outreach Galvanizes

Providence, R.I.--With Christmas less than a month away, the President’s Standing Committee on Service is currently in the midst of the College’s second annual Months of Giving outreach.

Each year during the holiday season, the College community collects and donates non-perishable food, toys, clothing, books, and more for needy families and individuals in Greater Providence and beyond.

Most recently, the Office of Academic Affairs, Campus Ministry, and the Feinstein Institute for Public Service collaborated on the “Harvest of Hope” campaign for the Mary House food pantry in Providence.

Additionally, the School of Continuing Education (SCE) conducted its annual Thanksgiving Food Drive for 20 families affiliated with the Providence-based Direct Action for Rights and Equality (D.A.R.E.) organization.

The next focus is making the Christmas season brighter for many of the poor in the community. There are more than a half-dozen coordinated projects under way on campus, with the President’s Standing Committee on Service taking the lead role. Among the initiatives:

• The Office of Residence Life is working with the non-profit organization, Adopt-A-Family, to help families and children in need. The office is asking members of the College community for donations to assist 13 families, including 38 children.

• The Office of Institutional Advancement and the Department of Financial Services are participating in the Spirit of Giving Holiday Gift Drive by adopting several families through Children’s Friend of Providence. Last year, Children’s Friend provided holiday gifts for more than 840 families, and the number is expected to top 1,000 this year.

• The SCE and its adult education honor society chapter, Eta Lambda, are continuing another holiday tradition, The Giving Tree, in which members of the College community take a tag from a tree and provide gifts--this year to benefit a family and a senior citizen affiliated with the Capital City Community Center in nearby Smith Hill.

• Kevin Brawley ’12 (Rehoboth, Mass.), who is both a member of Campus Ministry and a resident assistant at PC, is working with the Office of Student Affairs Administration and the PC Student Club Executive Council to provide toys and gifts for boys who attend the San Miguel School in Providence. An independent, Lasallian middle school, it is for boys in grades 5 to 8 whose families have limited financial means. The “Santa Shop” campaign will culminate on December 5 when San Miguel parents will come to the Slavin Center to select gifts, which will be wrapped by PC students.

• Campus Ministry is supporting children from the Smith Hill Daycare Center and the Joslin Community Center through “giving trees” in St. Dominic Chapel and Raymond Hall Food Court. 

• The Office of the President and the Executive Vice President/Treasurer is coordinating collections of seasonal and year-round adult clothing and other items for the Texas-based “Mobile Loaves and Fishes” (MLF) organization. MLF provides canteen trucks that serve hot and cold food to the homeless. The outreach covers six states, including Rhode Island. Items requested for the homeless include men’s socks, underwear, and sweatshirts; blankets; duffel bags and backpacks; men’s and women’s winter hats and gloves; Chapstick; and toiletries.

• The community-based Student Internship Program of the Department of Engineering-Physics-Systems is seeking monetary donations to install portable handwashing stations at schools in Pokuase Village in Ghana. This “Providence College in Ghana” initiative also is accepting donations of soap for school handwashing purposes.

• The Department of Human Resources is assisting the Ronald McDonald House in Providence in collecting items to support families with sick children at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Requested items include snacks such as microwave popcorn, individual packs of cookies and crackers, and juice boxes, as well as paper towels, trash bags, toothbrushes and toothpaste, deodorant, and soap.

Committee reflects campuswide support

The President’s Standing Committee on Service is responsible for collecting and coordinating information on community service and making recommendations to the Senior Cabinet regarding off-campus community service initiatives.

The committee is comprised of staff members, faculty, and students from 10 campuswide offices, departments, and organizations. The committee is chaired by Dr. Raymond L. Sickinger ’71, professor of history and of public and community services studies and the director of the Feinstein Institute.

During the 2010-11 academic year, the committee reported the following community service data at PC:

• Students organized and participated in more than 60,000 hours of service, including through a service-learning course and co-curricular/extracurricular service.

• A total of 171 faculty and staff members contributed 8,357 hours of service.

• Alumni completed 963 hours of service at events coordinated across the country by the Office of Alumni Relations. 

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