Notorious for vast amounts of service work and charity events, Mercyhurst College is having its annual Christmas on Campus event to bring a smile to the faces of about 100 children this Christmas season.
The event will be held this Saturday, Dec. 10, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Herrmann Student Union.
“What is great about this event is that it teaches our students that serving the community can be fun and very fulfilling,” says four-year “buddy” senior Lindsay Cox.
“Children from nine area agencies are invited to participate in Christmas on Campus, and each child is partnered with a Mercyhurst ‘buddy,’” says event coordinator Monnie Kirkpatrick of The Center for Student Engagement and Leadership.
Also helping in coordinating the event are the 10 LCP Level 3 students: seniors Tanna Mezacapa, Michael Reilly, Kaleigh Hubert and Cara Cantakis; and juniors Ellen Wilson, Adrianne LaGruth, Abby Robinson, Kortnie Cotter, Whitly Breakey and Bridget Finn.
Mercyhurst students from Recognized Student Clubs/Organizations participate in the event by being “buddies” for the children. These students conduct various games and crafts for the children.
“I love seeing the kids’ faces light up when they get to go around and make different crafts and things to take home with them,” said sophomore Andrea Javor.
The day’s festivities include storytelling, sing-a-long and dance performances, cookie decorating, games, lunch and finally a visit from Santa Claus.
“Thanks to the generosity of faculty, staff and administrators, each child receives a gift to take home,” says Kirkpatrick.
Expressing this gratitude and importance, Javor says, “My favorite part is when Santa gives them each their own gift because that might be the only present they receive this Christmas.”
The students participating as “buddies” are students who truly love bringing the Christmas spirit to the lives of these children. Each “buddy” has his or her own special story to share explaining why this event is so dear to his or her own heart.
“I enjoy participating in Christmas on Campus because it feels good doing something for others with nothing in return. Seeing the children’s faces as they open their gifts is priceless,” says sophomore Caitlin MacBride. “Making a person’s Christmas a little better makes me continue to participate in the event.”
Cox sums up how magical this event is to her by saying, “Not only is it a day that the children can come to campus and go a little wild with all the sugar we feed them, it’s also a day that puts our students into that child-like Christmas mindset and reminds us of the real meaning of Christmas.”