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Keuka College, Head Start Classes Get a Jump on Easter

Savannah Fuller '15 helps her new friend open goodies she received from the Easter Bunny

Peter Cottontail might be out of a job.

That’s because, as the perennial favorite says, members of the Keuka College community brought every girl and boy—in the two Head Start classrooms at Penn Yan Elementary School—baskets full of Easter joy.

Keuka College students, staff, and faculty donated toys, books, bubbles, stuffed animals, and other Easter basket goodies and distributed them to the children in each class.

“The Easter Basket Project is a community service program that benefits children in our local HeadStart Program,” said Savannah Fuller, a junior occupational science major from Philadelphia, N.Y. and Community Service Advocate. “The goal of our project is to provide children with gifts from the Easter Bunny that they might not get otherwise. This project is a rewarding and enjoyable experience for all involved.”

The Community Service Resource Center in the Center for Experiential Learning, Rotaract, the Multicultural Student Association, and the Class of 2015 coordinated the Easter Basket Project, a Keuka College tradition since the mid-1990s. The baskets were then given to the Dundee and Penn Yan classes.

Jamie Allen '15 checks out the toys in her friends' baskets

On hand to deliver the baskets were Fuller, Casey Cacala, a sophomore childhood education major from Pine City and a member of Rotaract; David Caramella, a junior management major from Oswego; Jamie Allen, a junior psychology major from Canandaigua; and Emily Knapsack, a senior psychology major from Montgomery, Pa.

Making the Holiday Season a Bit Brighter for Needy Children

Community Service Advocate Savannah Fuller helps open a doll during the annual Angel Tree Project.

“When we recall Christmas past,” said the late comedian Bob Hope, “we usually find that the simplest things—not the great occasions—give off the greatest glow of happiness.”

And the Christmas glow of happiness was evident in the number of bags and boxes for ­­­the 36 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, where Santa Claus was on hand to give the gifts to the children.

“Angel Tree is probably one of the most fun projects to do because it is devoted to making sure that local kids in need have a good holiday,” said Mitch Leet, a sophomore art and design major from Stanley and community service advocate.

Photo by Stephanie Lockhart '15

The Angel Tree Project is one of the College’s longstanding traditions. 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.

The Angel Tree Project saw “contributions from students, staff, faculty, parents of students, and my husband, who loves to shop for the angels,” said Valerie Webster, community service advocate adviser and co-curricular transcript coordinator. “Every child is an angel and they all should have something special during this time of year.”

Savannah Fuller, a junior occupational science major from Philadelphia, N.Y., said the Angel Tree Project is her favorite to work on and she believes it is the most important project the Community Service Resource Center runs.

“Angel Tree is a project that takes everyone’s focus away from the ‘receiving’ aspect and turns it to the ‘giving’ aspect of the holiday season,” said Fuller, who serves as a community service advocate. “During this project we witness a coming together of students, faculty, and staff at Keuka College who all share the common goal of giving children in need the magical Christmas experience they deserve.”

Webster said Rotaract and the Association of Future Social Workers (AFSW) combined to help a family of six children, and their parents, while the PRIDE Club collected gifts for a family of three children and their mother.

Sarah Schneider, a sophomore unified childhood major from Stanley said she “loves being able to make someone else’s Christmas special and see the kids’ smiling faces,” while Leet said “it’s fantastic that we’re able to help so many families, because it is a tough world to live in right now, and sharing what we’re lucky to have just comes naturally.”

Photo by Stephanie Lockhart '15

To Fuller, Angel Tree means “means putting a smile on a child’s face when they open the toy they’ve been dreaming of on Christmas morning. It means focusing on something other than yourself and reaching out to those in need.”

Added Nikita Wilkins, a junior biology major from Bloomfield: “Angel Tree provides an opportunity for needy children to experience Christmas. It gets the community involved in an activity that gives back. Christmas is more than gifts—it is the spirit of everyone coming together for a greater purpose.”

For more photos, click here.

Keuka College, Head Start Classes Get a Jump on Easter

Sophomore Kayla Hall helps her new friend open an Easter basket. (Photo by Stephanie Lockhart '15)

Peter Cottontail might be out of a job.

That’s because, as the perennial favorite says, members of the Keuka College community brought every girl and boy—in the Head Start programs in Dundee and Penn Yan—baskets full of Easter joy.

Keuka students, staff, and faculty donated toys, bubbles, stuffed animals, and other Easter basket goodies and distributed them to the children in each class.

The Community Service Resource Center in the Center for Experiential Learning and the Class of 2015 coordinated the Easter Basket Project, a College tradition since the mid-1990s. The baskets were then given to the Dundee and Penn Yan classes.

Sophomore Emily Brown examines what is in her new friend's Easter basket. (Photo by Stephanie Lockhart '15)

On hand to help distribute the baskets were Jamie Allen, a sophomore psychology major from Canandaigua, who serves as treasurer of the Class of 2015; Nikita Wilkins, a sophomore biology major and a community service advocate in the Center from Bloomfield, Savannah Fuller, a sophomore occupational science major and community service advocate in the Center from Philadelphia, N.Y; Mary Leet, a freshman visual and verbal art major from Stanley and a community service advocate in the Center; Kalya Hall, a sophomore occupational science major from Ballston Spa and Class of 2015 representative; Emily Brown, a sophomore occupational science major from Homer and Class of 2015 representative; Sarah Schneider, a freshman childhood education major from Stanley and community service advocate in the Center; Paige Fuller, a sophomore American Sign Language major from East Greenbush; Alex Morgan, a junior biology major from New Berlin; Shanita Williams, a freshman exploratory major from Geneva; and Jeffery Miller, a sophomore occupational science major from Bloomfield.

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.”

A Head Start on Easter

Freshman Katelyn Armstrong checks out the goodies inside an Easter basket during delivery at Heather LaBarr's Head Start class.

Students in Heather LaBarr’s Head Start (Penn Yan) class got a head start on Easter April 5.

Students, faculty, and staff at Keuka College donated toys, bubbles, stuffed animals, and other Easter basket goodies for LaBarr’s class and the Head Start program in Dundee.

The Community Service Resource Center in the Center for Experiential Learning and the Class of 2015 coordinated the Easter Basket Project, a College tradition since the mid-1990s. The baskets were then given to the Dundee and Penn Yan classes.

On hand to help distribute the baskets were Rebecca Allen, a freshman unified childhood/special education major from Oxford; Samantha Chesnut, a freshman sociology and political science major from Mexico, who serves as president of the Class of 2015; Nikita Wilkins, a freshman biology major and a community service advocate in the Center from Bloomfield; Katelyn Armstrong, a freshman psychology major from Jamestown; Junelle King, a senior organizational communication major and community service advocate in the Center from Ithaca; Savannah Fuller, a freshman occupational science major and community service advocate in the Center from Philadelphia, N.Y.; Jamie Allen, a freshman psychology major from Canandaigua; Ella Smallwood-St. Denis, a freshman social work major from Canandaigua; Vince Glanville, a freshman psychology major from Capetown, South Africa; and Willie Jones, a freshman occupational science major from Rochester.

Check out more photos from the Easter basket delivery.