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November 5, 2010
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab


SRU AmeriCorps launches Christmas Elf program


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – The Slippery Rock University AmeriCorps program has teamed with the Butler County Salvation Army to again offer people the opportunity to bring Christmas to needy area children and their families through the Project Elf program.

            The program allows students, faculty, staff, departments, organizations and community members to sponsor a needy child from the Butler area who might not otherwise receive gifts for the upcoming holiday and agree to provide the child’s presents.

“Project Elf, started at SRU in 1989, provides a connection between those who can help and those who need help the most at Christmas,” said Laurel Dagnon, program director for SRU’s AmeriCorps program.

The Salvation Army in Butler began taking applications in early October and has recommended 75 children to SRU’s program.

Historically, the Salvation Army helps more than 800 children each year.

“It is anticipated the need for help will be even greater this year with more than 20 percent of Butler County residents falling below the poverty level. Two out of every three Pennsylvania families living below the poverty level are also working families,” Dagnon said.         “Those providing gifts are reminded that the gifts they donate may be the only gifts the child receives at Christmas,” Dagnon said.

The AmeriCorps program will distribute information about how to sponsor a child in need through campus mail.

Unwrapped gifts are due in the University Union between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., Dec. 10. Cookies and punch will be served.

AmeriCorps Community Fellows are part of SRU’s Center for Student Involvement and Leadership.

            For additional information contact Jenna Hazlett, AmeriCorps project coordinator and SRU graduate student, at 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.