Christmas on Campus offers chance to give back

Jillian BarrileJillian Barrile photoThe Mercyhurst Campus got a taste of Christmas spirit and giving last weekend.

On Saturday Mercyhurst held its annual event Christmas on Campus event.

This event allows children from the area who are involved in community outreach programs to participate in Christmas activities.

Every year, children from programs like the Boys and Girls Club of Erie, the Y.M.C.A., the Booker T. Washington Center and the Mercy Women’s Center come to Mercyhurst’s Student Union where they pair up with a buddy, a volunteer from the Mercyhurst student body.

Buddies take the children around to the various activity stations run by the clubs and societies, such as the Social Work Club, Theater Appreciation Club and the honors societies.

Each club or group is responsible for creating a Christmas activity for the children to participate in.

Some clubs had activities that were pertinent to the nature of the group, such as the Chemistry Club, which had the children make test tube sand art ornaments.

The Astronomy Club also stuck with its “theme,” and the children decorated their own “wishing stardust.”

There was a huge variety of activities, such as writing letters to Santa with the Theater Appreciation Club, and making graham cracker houses at the Habitat for Humanity table.

Children participated in the activities of their choice from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Jillian Barrile photoJillian Barrile photo
Due to the large number of clubs that participated, it was a challenge to create activities that no other club was running. Some clubs used materials they happened to have on hand to create unique activities.

Tri Beta used the large number of seashells they had to create seashell ornaments with the children.

During the activities, pizza was available to the children, as well as an abundance of candy.

The candy was handed out by students dressed up as favorite characters, such as Christmas elves, Disney characters and even Spongebob Squarepants. There was also an appearance by Santa himself.

After the activities were over, children gathered on the main floor of the Union to eat cookies and drink milk while Santa read “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

Then, every child received a Christmas present to open.

To ensure every child would receive something they really wanted, there was a place to write down present ideas for every child during registration.

Christmas on Campus is an important outreach program that has a huge impact on the community.

“Christmas on Campus is not only a great opportunity to work with kids from the community,” said junior Nikki Zeak, vice-president of the Theater Appreciation Club.

“But it’s also a great opportunity to bring all the college’s clubs and organizations together for a common cause.”