Wrapped presents or pecan pie do not make the holidays memorable. Instead, the gift of service towards others makes the season magical.
This magic found its way into Alumnae Hall on Dec. 9. Brightly wrapped presents under the tree are not from Santa but from the students and faculty participating in the annual Adopt-a-Family program. This program encourages students and faculty to bring in gifts for struggling families during the holiday season.
Senior Madeline Puente, Christian Leadership Council vice-president, treasures working with the Adopt-a-Family program. “Giving to these families brings out the true meaning of giving to others during Christmas,” she said.
This year, the Dominican community donated Christmas gifts to four charities: Metropolitan Women’s Shelter, Bridges to Self- Sufficiency, Rapid Rehousing and St. Augustine Catholic Church in Treme. A majority of these families consist of women and children searching for permanence [JD1] in their lives. According to Mrs. Almon, these are families that have been in transition this past year, and are seeking an alternative solution.
With the generous gifts, Dominican students and faculty helped to bring Christmas to 51 families – a total of 179 people.
“The purpose of the annual Adopt a Family is to build a sense of community,” said Campus Minister Mrs. Katie Almon. “Dominican strives to follow the pillar of service to care for the needs of others,”
Dominican participates in the Adopt-a-Family program each year. Within their religion classes, students brought in toys, clothes and toiletries for families. Students shopped from the wish lists of the recipient families.
“My favorite part about Adopt a Family is knowing that I am giving to families in need,” said freshman Sara Britsch. “I cannot wait for next year and am glad I was able to help this year!”
In addition to the Adopt a Family program, Dominican also participated in the Thanksgiving Drive. In November, students filled eighty baskets to the brim with non-perishable food items to complete Thanksgiving meals. The food donated consisted of the perfect ingredients to make savory casseroles, macaroni and cheese, and homemade pies. In total, Dominican donated enough food to feed a total of about 800 people during the Thanksgiving holidays.
– Brogan Hausknecht