by Amanda Judah
Christmas is often called the “season of giving.” Charitable organizations use this time to launch campaigns, encouraging the public to think of resources they can share. Recently, this goodwill has extended as early in the year as “Giving Tuesday,” a social media phenomenon that occurs the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Salvation Army bell-ringers are a ubiquitous sight outside of grocery stores and malls, and there are seemingly infinite opportunities to volunteer or donate to charity. Boston College is no exception to this philanthropic trend, encouraging students to participate in several ways that contribute to the overall community:
First, the annual “Stuff the Truck” campaign successfully donated canned food from three chapels on campus during the first two weeks of November. The goods were delivered at the end of the Multi-Faith Thanksgiving celebration. “Stuff the Truck”-style events are common, especially around Thanksgiving, as some families struggle to put food on the table during the holiday season. Though the BC event is over, there may still be a Christmastime food drive going on in your local community!
Next, BC Charity: Water held a fundraiser at the end of November in order to bring awareness of the global water crisis by selling “Ugly Christmas Sweaters” in O'Neill Plaza. This allowed students to get into the holiday spirit while supporting a good cause!
Through December 7th, students working at the Bridge Home through Pulse held a donation drive. The Bridge Home is a crisis intervention and stabilization residence for children. Specifically, items towards pre-teens were requested, in order to give the children Christmas gifts they would not otherwise receive. While there are many opportunities to provide holiday presents for those in need, these children have formed relationships with BC students, making the donation effort uniquely personal.
The American Red Cross of Boston College held blood drives from December 4-7 in the Walsh Function Room. As with all Red Cross donations, the blood was delivered to a laboratory where a single donation could be used to help up to three different people. A different patient needs blood every two seconds in the US, this provided a much needed service. Blood can be donated throughout the year, and your blood type could greatly improve someone’s quality of life.
There is one opportunity to continue giving past the holiday season! An ongoing book drive (for both semesters) is being held through the BC School of Social Work. The drive requests educational books for high school students as well as teachers’ training books. The materials will be donated to Chikuni Mission in Zambia, and can be dropped off in the Social Work Student Lounge. As members of the BC community, we are so blessed with the gift of education, and now have the opportunity to spread this gift to others.
Despite the many opportunities to share our worldly possessions, not everyone is able to give this Christmas season. Even if we can’t provide for the physical needs of others, we can certainly attend to their emotional needs. It is important to remember that how we act towards faculty, peers, and staff can make a large impact on the Boston College campus—and the world at large.