HSU Brings Opportunities for Students to Serve the Community this Holiday Season
One of Hardin-Simmons’ values is to share and help the community as much as possible. The holiday spirit is all about serving the community. All students are invited to be a part of several different volunteer programs.
This year, HSU will have the charity project 25th Operation Christmas Child: Packing Party on Nov. 16th and the Alpha Phi Omega Christmas Drive starting on Nov. 12th and ending Dec. 10th. There will also be other events on and off campus, as the BSM Cowboy Christmas Party, Criminal Justice Coat Drive, Ronald McDonald Drive, Mission: Thanksgiving, and the HEB Feast of Sharing.
Here is a breakdown of the different service projects:
Alpha Phi Omega Christmas Drive, Nov. 12th – Dec. 10th
Organized by Tillie McGuire, students can drop-off items at Richardson Library which the fraternity will send to the children in Mexico. The Christmas Drive is an opportunity to help the community while sharing the Christmas spirit with them.
McGuire, a graduate student from Hardin-Simmons, explained that this is the first year that there is full-engagement on this project, and she brought the idea to HSU from her mission trips to Mexico.
“There is a couple from Mexico who always help us with the mission; their love is so strong. I have been going there since I was seven years old, and I am 23 now,” she said.
For girls and boys of ages 2-5 bring baby supplies.
For girls and boys of ages 6-10 bring school supplies.
For girls and boys of ages 11-18 bring hygiene projects.
Ronald McDonald House Drive, Nov. 13th – 14th
From 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Moody Center, the “Love your Melon” crew will host a house drive. Those participating can donate paper goods (paper plates, napkins, utensils, etc.) and get their name in a drawing for a chance to win a free “Love your Melon” beanie.
Operation Christmas Child: Packing Party, Nov. 16th
The Packing Party is a national collection that will take place on Moody Center, where everyone can participate. People must bring a gift to wrap and send it to children for this holidays. Gifts need to be small, small enough to fit in a shoebox, and several of them can be packed together in the same box. For more information about packing boxes, click here.
Samaritan’s Purse organizes Operation Christmas Child. They are a non-denominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to people around the world.
Since 1993, the organization has partnered with local churches around the globe to deliver 157,000,000 Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts to children in need in 160 countries. People taking part in it will be helping communities all over the world and contributing to their holiday spirit. Their mission is to share the Gospel and give hope to those in need. Many of the children who receive the box have never received a gift before or have never heard about the true meaning of Christmas. By being part of it, you are contributing to show these children and families God’s Love.
Mission: Thanksgiving, Nov. 16th
Love and Care Ministries encourages students to donate food, winter clothes, boots, shoes, and blankets for those in need. From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Arrow Ford (4001 S. 1st St.). Vounteers can help with the delivery and classification of donations.
Criminal Justice Association Coat Drive
Criminal Justice Association members will be in charge of a coat drive for those in need, and a Thanksgiving meal, on Nov. 17th at the local Salvation Army. Last year, they did just the meal, and they got such good feedback that the CJA Vice President, Jessica Massey, also suggested including a coat drive.
“As a body of believers and future criminal justice professionals, we are called to serve the community. The opportunity to help those in need is a true blessing,” said Michael Hicks, a member of the CJA.
They hope that the people who come through the doors this year will receive not only a warm coat and meal, but the knowledge that they are loved this holiday season.
Cowboy Kid’s Christmas Party, Dec. 4th
Since 1978, the Cowboy Kids’ Christmas Party has been sponsored by the BSM. At this party, 25 children from two local elementary schools visit HSU, and each volunteer will be assigned to a child. Participants will spend the afternoon with the children, buy them a gift and eat at the cafeteria. Volunteers must bring their gift to the BSM on Dec. 3rd, and three chapel credits will be provided to those who participate in the event.
“Students from FreshCo (Freshmen Council) do all of the recruiting of volunteers and planning of the party. Normally, activities include cookie decorating, making ornaments, coloring Christmas pages and watching movies. This year FreshCo students are planning a carnival-type party. There will be many different stations where the children can play games and have a great time,” said Terri Prestidge, Officer Manager for Baptist Studies Ministries
To volunteer or request more information, contact Terri.L.Prestidge@hsutx.edu.
HEB Feast of Sharing, Dec. 4th
HEB will host a free feast for the community at the Abilene Convention Center (1100 N. 6th St.) to which students can register and volunteer to serve food, drinks, dessert, or clean tables. For at least the past few years, they have invited and sponsored the Cowboy Band from HSU to travel to Fort Worth to perform at the Feast of Sharing they host at the Will Rogers Coliseum.
“As part of many of these events, they contact local arts organizations to come in and perform to add to a more festive atmosphere,” said Billy Harden, involved in the development of the feast.