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Campus Embraces Spirit of Giving

Date: Nov. 28, 2000
By: Marianne Kunnen-Jones and Jen Carter
Phone: (513) 556-1826
Photo by: Dottie Stover
Archive: General News

We don't want to give away any secrets, but we know what some Greater Cincinnatians will be finding inside their gift boxes this holiday season. We know because many of these presents are being made possible by individuals in the UC community who are pulling together to reach out to people in need beyond the bounds of campus. A&S assistant deans Barb Schooley and Jeanette Songer, and student Heather Grooms

New hats and gloves, socks, blankets, art supplies, books and Barbies are definitely among the treasures that will be received this season, in addition to robes, tape decks, dolls and sports equipment. Givers and receivers don't even know each other, but each and every giver behind these holiday items is a UC faculty, staff or student.

"We used to exchange gifts ourselves, but most of them ended up being just dust collectors," said Julie Muenchen, assistant to the College of Business Administration dean. "About 10 to 15 years ago, we decided to do something to help other people. We started out by adopting a family to buy gifts for."

This season staff members at CBA instead organized a Giving Tree. Anyone can choose a name from the tree and buy one or more of the requested gifts listed on the tag. The CBA service project will benefit children ranging from infancy to 18 years old, all associated with the foster, adoption and shelter programs of the Lighthouse, located on Stratford Avenue near West Campus. Presents from the CBA Giving Tree are due by Dec. 11 in the dean's office.

In the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, staff, faculty and student volunteers are helping to serve the community this holiday season by teaming up with Mercy Franciscan at St. John to adopt five families and make their holiday dreams come true. It's the second year for this partnership, which like CBA, involves a Giving Tree adorned with tags listing the first name of the recipients, their gender, age and needs.

According to Jeannette Songer, assistant dean, each person in the families selected by Mercy Franciscan lists items they would like to receive. Adults' lists include at least two household items they need in addition to personal wishes. "These lists are usually very, very practical. They are not frivolous at all," said Songer. It's up to A&S faculty, staff and students to volunteer to make the needed purchases or donate money to pay for the gifts.

"People will sometimes take an extra step and bring in books for the children and we divvy those up," she said.

This year, A&S staff and students helped to raise money for the gift purchases by having a rummage sale. Leftover items from the sale were donated to the Salvation Army. Ruth Hoffman, a senior academic advisor, came up with the idea for the sale. Dec. 8 is the deadline for gifts in the A&S program. They can be dropped off in Room 102, McMicken.

The Medical Center Community Outreach Program along with members of the Association for Women Administrators will aid the homeless and low-income women and children who have turned to Bethany House for assistance. Medical Center volunteers will be hosting a holiday party for the women and children at Bethany House on Gilbert Avenue on Dec. 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. Anyone wishing to help should contact Maria Bolten at 558-3613.

Also, the Medical Center Community Outreach Committee, along with AWA and numerous Medical Center departments and units, are adopting families for the holidays. If your department is interested in providing gifts for a family, please contact Jenni Summers at 558-2484.

Hats and mittens are also being collected by the Community Outreach Committee this year for Rockdale Paideia Academy. The collection will run through Dec. 15. Collection boxes are located throughout the Medical Center or individual donations can be dropped off in Room 187, Health Professions Building. To get a box for your department, contact Mary Duke at 558-7635 or Marcia Miladinov at 558-4597.

Other holiday happenings on campus include:

  • The main bookstore on West Campus will host an open house, 4-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, for faculty and staff. The event features double discounts, prize drawings and free gift wrapping with a donation of a nonperishable food item. Hor d'oeuvres and entertainment offered.

  • CCM's Feast of Carols concert will take place at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 and at 2 and 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3 in Corbett Auditorium. Saturday's performance will feature the Northern Kentucky Children's Ensemble Choir and Summit Camerata of Summit Country Day School. The first performance on Sunday will feature the Children's Choir of Greater Cincinnati. Finneytown High School's Choir will perform in the evening. All performances will feature A Feast of Carols, a new arrangement by CCM alumnus Randol Bass. Tickets are required: 556-4183.

  • The School of Planning will hold its annual Holiday Feast at 4-7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3. It is open to faculty, staff and students of the school.

  • MBA students and faculty will hold a Winter Holiday Prom at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at the Cincinnati Club. Tickets: $15/couple; $55/couple (faculty). For information: 556- 7020.

  • University of Cincinnati Association for Administrators, Managers and Professionals will host its Holiday Luncheon Party 2000 on at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 19, in the Alumni Center, for members only. Cost is $5. Watch the UCAAMP web site at www.uc.edu/ucaamp for reservation information.

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