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Making the Holiday Season a Bit Brighter for Needy Children

(Photo by Stephanie Lockhart '16)

The late American educator Mary Ellen Chase once said “Christmas is not a date. It is a state of mind.”

And the Christmas state of mind was evident in the number of ribbons and bows that adorned the bags and boxes for 38 children receiving gifts though Keuka College’s Angel Tree Project. The gifts for the children were wrapped and delivered to the Child and Family Resource Center in Penn Yan Monday, Dec. 3, where Santa Claus was on hand to give the gifts to the children.

“Angel Tree gives the College a way to do community service,” said Valerie Webster, community service advocate adviser and co-curricular transcript coordinator.  “It makes people stop and realize how important it is to help others, and to understand the true meaning of the holidays.”

Freshman Mary Leet agrees.

“[Helping others at] Christmas feels more like Christmas when you give, rather than receive,” said the visual and verbal art major from Stanley, who also serves as a community service advocate.

(Photo by Stephanie Lockhart '16)

A community service staple and College favorite, the annual Angel Tree Project is designed to make the holidays a bit brighter for area children in need. Students, staff, and faculty select a paper angel from a Christmas tree. The angel contains a child’s age and gender, and a suggested gift of toys, clothes, or both.

Savannah Fuller, a junior occupational science major from Philadelphia and community service advocate, said Christmas “is a time to cherish all kids, and by choosing an angel from the tree, I felt good knowing I helped make a child’s Christmas brighter.”

Webster said two clubs—Rotaract Club and Drama Club—bought gifts for two families. The clubs combined to give the families necessity items including cleaning supplies, laundry supplies, towels, and pots and pans.

Rotaract Club member Brittany Gleason, a sophomore mathematics and management major from Carthage, says “the club is all about community service, and we feel good knowing that a family is getting things they need that they might not otherwise be able to get.”

Added Webster: “The Angel Tree Project gives everyone a chance to have those wishes we all have. And it gives the community of Yates County insight into the giving spirit of Keuka College students.”