The holidays inspire many to remember the less fortunate and Lehigh students, faculty, and staff are no exception. Throughout the holiday season, members of the Lehigh family are giving back to their community in a variety of ways:
Shop with a Lehigh Cop
Lehigh University Police Officers treated seven families to breakfast with Santa and holiday shopping at Wal-Mart, lunch at Rathbone Hall, and a complimentary turkey dinner gift basket from Ahart’s Market on Dec. 13. The inaugural “Shop with a Lehigh Cop” program helped children from financially struggling, working class families to spend a special day with Lehigh police officers. Families were selected by South Side clergy based on need, and local merchants Wal-Mart and Ahart’s Market, along with Windish Hall and Wood Dining Services, helped to sponsor the program.
The fruit of the Giving Tree
The Newman Center is sponsoring The Giving Tree, which earned its name from the “ornaments” that adorn this special tree. The ornaments are labeled for needy students in a local Catholic elementary school and underprivileged mothers with young children. Through Dec. 17, Lehigh students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to pick an ornament off the tree, located in the rear of Packer Memorial Church, and purchase the gift on the label. Gifts, with the tags from the tree attached, should be dropped off at the Newman Center.
A winning C.O.A.C.H.
The award-winning Community of Athletes who Care about Helping (C.O.A.C.H.) program hosted its fifth annual Adopt-a-Family holiday party for 20 local families. Each athletic team at Lehigh adopted an underprivileged family to help share in the holiday season. Over the course of the semester, student-athletes from each team raised money in order to buy gifts for their adopted families. Each team then presented their gifts to the families at the party.
This year, Lehigh Greek organizations also joined the C.O.A.C.H. program and adopted 23 local families. The students gathered with their families, gave the kids a chance to visit with Santa Claus, and then allowed the children to open a present each on the spot. They also provided food and drinks to make the entire evening special for all of the families involved. For a full story and photos, click here
Gryphons Give Back
The Gryphon Society’s Operation Give Back collected food, money, and clothes for the South Bethlehem Neighborhood Center. The collection started after Thanksgiving and ran from Dec. 1 through 5. Gryphons placed flyers, table tents, and banners in key locations to help raise awareness of the drive. Announcements at the Lehigh/Lafayette Game and visits to Greek houses also helped their efforts.
Filling Holiday Hope Chests
Community Service Office volunteers worked with the Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley to help fill and distribute “Holiday Hope Chests” in early December. Shoeboxes were decorated and filled with toys, toiletries, and school supplies for needy children in the Lehigh Valley. Community Service volunteers also helped the South Bethlehem Neighborhood Center’s Holiday Store, where low-income children shop for donated holiday gifts priced under $5.