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Nov. 8, 2011
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab




SRU sponsors Project Elf to aid needy children


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Slippery Rock University’s Center for Student Involvement and Leadership and members of the Keystone SMILES AmeriCorps are joining the Butler Salvation Army to again sponsor the annual Elf Program. The program provides Christmas to area children and their families.

            Each year since 1989, SRU students, faculty, staff, departments, campus and community organizations have the opportunity to pick up a nametag of a Butler area child who may not be receiving Christmas gifts. The nametag includes the child’s age, wants and needs.

The CSIL has secured the names of 75 children and will begin distributing them Nov. 14.Those interested in “adopting” a child for the holidays should call 724.738.2273. The deadline is Dec. 2.

            SRU’s goal is to help 75 area families for the holiday.

Historically, more than 800 area children are served each year through the Salvation Army holiday program.

“We anticipate the need for help will be even greater this year with more than 20 percent of Butler County residents falling below the poverty level compared with 12.6 percent statewide,” said Laurel Dagnon, CSIL program director.

“Two out of every three Pennsylvania families living below poverty are also working families. According to the Keystone Research Center, ‘They spend their lives and those of their children balancing on a financial tight rope,’” she said.

The AmeriCorps program will mail detailed information on how to adopt a child in need through campus mail in mid-November.

Unwrapped gifts may be dropped off from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dec. 9, in the University Union. Cookies and hot chocolate will be available.

The Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, a division of Student Life at SRU, creates valuable developmental and educational opportunities through activities, programs, student organizations, community service and leadership training.

For additional information about the CSIL, “Project Elf” or other community service opportunities, call 724-738-2273.


Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania’s premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.