Baker organizations provide for less fortunate during holiday season

Baker organizations provide for less fortunate during holiday season

Whether the activities involve spreading holiday cheer, learning from a class experience or just helping others, students at Baker University have found ways in December to lend a helping hand.

Among groups doing philanthropic work are various departments and people adopting Douglas County families for the Salvation Army. Under the coordination of Public Relations Director Steve Rottinghaus, families were adopted by Baker groups to donate clothing, toys or other needs for the holidays.

“It kind of tugs at your heart to see the simple things that they want,” Rottinghaus said.

Rottinghaus said he thought the Baker community responded well to a large need. Last year the Douglas County Adopt-a-Family program had 80 registered families, and this year 150 are registered. Various Baker groups have adopted eight of those 150.

“I think (the groups) do get excited,” Rottinghaus said. “It is a time of year when they realize you can’t always take stuff for granted.”

One group that decided to participate in the Adopt-a-Family program was was Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Senior Evan Wright said involvement in the program is seen by the group as an essential part of its Christmas celebration.

“We are using money we’ve raised over the course of the year for the families and have a few actual volunteers doing the shopping,” Wright said. “We think it’s important to serve others at Christmas as a good way to show the love of Christ.”

Members of Visiting Associate Professor of Sociology Linda Silber’s Social Inequality class formulated an activity to not only add to their learning experience, but to also get the Baldwin City community involved. Class members went to homes and businesses in Baldwin City Tuesday to ask for food, money, clothing and toiletry items to donate to the First United Methodist Church pantry. Around 200 bags of food and toiletries were collected, as well as at least three bags of clothing.

Senior Tracie Spring said the activity went well.

“It made it more realistic for some people that social inequality can be found anywhere,” Spring said. “It let the community get involved. It made you feel like us trying to put this on in less than a month was worth it. It went really well.”

Student Activities Council continued to sponsor the annual Salvation Army Angel Tree project this year, for which people could buy gift items to donate to children. Junior Kelly Vaughan said she didn’t think the activity was as successful this year as it had been, as several angels on the tree had not been chosen at the conclusion of the activity.

“I am disappointed to know not a lot of people participated,” Vaughan said.

She said even though many angels were left, SAC would be making up the difference in time for presents to be donated to the Salvation Army for Christmas.