Kean University Students Go Beyond the Classroom to Help Others This Season

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UNION – Amid the hustle and bustle of family gatherings, last-minute shopping and semester-end preparations, students at Kean University are taking time this holiday season to enrich the lives of others through various volunteer activities.

“It’s amazing what kind of impact students can make,” said Puja Shah, senior class president. “Every time we volunteer, we leave knowing we did the most we could, and that we have made a significant difference in the lives of other people.”

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Now through December 14, Liberty Hall Museum and the Kean University Service Corps are collecting unwrapped gifts for children 15 years old and younger who live in Union County through the Toys for Tots campaign. Drop-boxes are available at the Liberty Hall Museum, and various locations on the Kean University campus.

The Center for Leadership and Service (CLS) is hosting a Books for Africa drive, now through December 21. So far this year, 59 cartons of academic textbooks, reference materials and novels have been donated. Drop-off locations include the University Center Atrium, residence halls, and in the lobbies of Bruce, Hutchinson, Willis and Hennings halls.

On December 1, CLS will host the last blood drive of the semester, in partnership with New Jersey Blood Services. So far this year, the Kean University community has donated 248 pints of blood. That same day, the Class of 2010 will conclude the season of giving with a tree-lighting ceremony outside of the University Center.

Members of the Class of 2010 kicked off the season of volunteerism on November 13, joining efforts with the Greater Plainfield Habitat for Humanity to provide a home for a local family. The following week, the seniors held an open session for the campus community to make cards for pediatric patients at Trinitas Hospital in nearby Elizabeth.

On November 25, approximately 15 representatives from the senior class will bring the cards, along with 150 teddy bears wearing t-shirts that read “Senior Class Cares” to the young patients.

On November 16, the Association of Latin American Students hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for Kean University students, promoting unity and providing a social gathering for those who may not go home for the holiday.

That same week, the Student Organization and Graduate and Part-time Student Council raised $1,525 for the Community Food Bank of New Jersey during the annual Food Bank Luncheon. The University Activities Board will also participate in the Kean Volunteer for a Day program at the food bank on December 5.

Throughout November, the Portuguese American Club at Kean hosted a Thanksgiving Food Drive for families of Harrison Elementary School in Roselle, N.J.


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