By Michael Bell
During this holiday season, the gift of giving is needed more than ever.
Amanda Dubois, director of Community Engagement and New Student Programs, advises students to “pick their passion because there are so many different ways to give back during the holidays.”
From singing, to knitting, to cooking, or simply donating your time and resources, here are a variety of ways Lehman students can give back.
Drop off a Toy. Located in many areas around Lehman’s campus are drop boxes for Lehman’s Toy Drive. A single toy can bring one-child hours of fun and happiness, so drop off what you can, when you can.
Go Caroling. This year, Lehman students will be caroling at VA hospital. You don’t need to be the next John Lennon to participate, so stop on by and give it a try. Recital practice will begin on December 4th at 4 p.m. in the Shuster lobby.
Learn to knit. It’s addictive, fun, and easy to learn. The Office of Community Engagement and New Student Programs needs volunteers to knit potholders for the elderly. Whether on campus or at home, this is a project you can work on when you want, wherever you want.
Give the shirt off your back. Not literally, of course. Located in front of Shuster 208 is a drop box for Lehman’s clothing drive. Any form of clothing, whether old or new, would be greatly appreciated by a person in need.
Be a master Chef. If nutrition is your passion, POTS, our local soup kitchen, is more than willing to accept any volunteer time or food donations you have to offer. You’ll be filled with cheer as you aid in filling the stomachs of those in need.
Send a text. For Hurricane Sandy relief, donors may contribute $10 via their phone bill to the Salvation Army by texting the word STORM to 80888, and confirming the donation with the word “Yes.” Or, texting “REDCROSS” to 90999 to give $10 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief fund.
Latoya Daughety, a student volunteer who knits potholders, says, . “I’m so excited to simply be a part of the different events that are going on, but I really love knitting. It took time to get used to, but now that I know what I’m doing. I can definitely see myself making this into a hobby.”
She and many other student volunteers are really excited about giving back, including the conductor of this orchestra of giving. “I’m excited about all of the upcoming events,” laughs Amanda Dubois. “It’s just about bringing people holiday cheer, but I’m the most excited about holiday elfing because it’s a Lehman tradition.”
Dubois also reminds students about the ongoing need to aid those affected by Hurricane Sandy. “This year, we’re collaborating with NYU to make emergency care packages, and Lehman has committed to providing bottled water, granola bars, Ramen Noodles, flashlights, and whistles for the emergency packs,” said Dubois. “We are trying to raise money to either purchase the items, or have the items donated. Anything students can donate would be greatly appreciated by us and those who have been impacted by Sandy.”
Even in the midst of recovery from disaster, Dubois still maintains an optimistic and positive attitude about the New York spirit of giving. “This holiday season especially, you see a lot more New Yorkers reaching out, and you see the spirit that unfortunately comes usually when there’s a disaster that strikes, but I think that it’s boosted the community’s willingness to help even more so than usual, and it’s been nice to see.”