SRU’s Elf Project provides holiday gifts for 75 local children
Holiday gifts collected at the University Program Broad’s Season of Giving event at Slippery Rock University include donations for 75 children from various Butler County families in need through SRU’s Elf Project.
Dec. 3, 2019
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Words on a page. To some, that's all the writing may ever appear to be. But for Mary Caylor, a clerk typist in Slippery Rock University's Department of Physics and Engineering, they were much more. They were a call to action during this season of giving.
"All of us working at the University are so blessed to have good jobs and work with wonderful people, and then you see something like this flyer where children are asking for necessities like winter coats, hats and gloves," said Caylor. "These kids shouldn't have to do that; they should be asking for toys and fun things. I feel that it's our duty as people who have things to give to them."
Caylor, like many others throughout the SRU community, is participating in the Elf Project, an annual service project at SRU that collects holidays gifts for Butler County families in need through a partnership between the University's Office of Community-Engaged Learning and the Butler Salvation Army.
Caylor and the Physics and Engineering Department "adopted" two children, a 10-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy, and collectively the department purchased more than $125 in gifts selected from wish lists provided by Salvation Army. The Salvation Army identified the families in need from Butler County and included children's sizes, interests and specific requests with each list. As a University, more than 54 departments and student organizations are sponsoring 75 Butler County children.
Emily Abreu Carbajal, a senior dual environmental geoscience and modern languages and cultures major from Reading, is one of the OCEL's service leadership coordinators who helped organize this year's Elf Project.
"We're helping children from low-income families and helping to bring smiles to their faces when their parents aren't able to afford gifts for them. (The project) represents the true spirit of the season," Abreu Carbajal said. "It's really fun to be able to help out and give back. I really enjoy organizing events like this because it is incredibly worthwhile."
All the unwrapped gifts purchased by SRU's Elf Project participants will be collected at the University Program Board's annual Seasons of Giving event, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dec. 5, in the Smith Student Center Ballroom. Participating groups were asked to purchase gifts that are worth at least a combined $100 per child. Last year, SRU's Elf Project contributions accounted for $10,000 in gifts.
"Not only do we get to help families in need, it makes you feel good to do something nice for these kids," Caylor said. "If their parents are down on their luck or having a difficult time, those of us that are in a better situation should step up and help them have a good Christmas."
To learn more about SRU's Elf Project, contact Abreu Carbajal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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