With Christmas around the corner, it might seem easy to become wrapped up in the excitement of gift-giving and holiday traditions.
However, this time of year is also a good opportunity to remember those in need and find ways to give back to the community.
Mercyhurst is providing an opportunity for students to brighten the holidays of women and children at the Mercy Center, a local charity organization.
The Mercy Center provides services and support to local women to assist them in becoming empowered and self-sufficient. The Center provides transitional housing, education through cooperation with GED programs, and life skills and parenting resources.
Mercyhurst shares an important bond with the Center: both were founded by the Sisters of Mercy with the goal of empowering women.
The Mercy Center was founded in 1994 by the Sisters of Mercy and is celebrating its twenty-fifth year of serving the community. It is housed in a former convent.
The Mercy Center opens its doors to homeless women who are driven to turn their lives around.
By assisting these women through educational programs, case management services, and life skills training, the Mercy Center gives homeless women the resources they need to start a better life.
The Mercy Center also provides resources for children. Mothers staying at the Mercy Center live with their children in a safe environment. The facility’s grounds have play areas and childcare services are available for mothers.
Throughout the final weeks of the semester, Mercyhurst will be running a donation campaign for the Mercy Center coordinated by Alice Edwards, Ph. D. a Spanish professor here at Mercyhurst.
The Center is looking for donations of Christmas gifts as well as household items. Monetary gifts and gift cards are also accepted. Because the Mercy Center serves women and children of all ages, many items are eligible for donation.
For adult women, the Center is seeking items such as clothing accessories, jewelry, makeup and hair products, coloring books and movie passes.
For infants and toddlers, donations such as musical or interactive toys, blocks, trains and cloth books are ideal. For older children, the Center recommends dolls, children’s movies, Legos, sports material and board games. For its teenage residents, the Center asks for books, headphones, graphic tees and more.
Collection boxes will be on display throughout campus, including in Old Main by the office of President Victor.
Students looking to further assist the Mercy Center can apply to volunteer there, with more information on the Mercy Center website. The Mercy Center also runs a thrift store for clothing. All proceeds benefit the Mercy Center and its mission.
Service to those in need is a vital part of the Mercy Mission, and this collection is the perfect opportunity for Lakers to serve their community this Christmas.