Local children celebrate Christmas with 'Miracle on 38th Street"

A new tradition has begun on campus, with ‘Miracle on 38th Street’ when local children from social service agencies gathered in the Carolyn Herrmann Student Union to celebrate Christmas and get into the holiday spirit.

The event took place Friday, Dec. 14, from 3 to 6 p.m. and gave the kids a chance to make some Christmas gifts for their parents along with engaging in several other holiday activities.

“This is my favorite program of the year,” said junior Kelsea Wemett. “It’s a great way for college kids to help the community, especially for kids that can’t have a traditional Christmas.”

Previously known as “Christmas on Campus,” the special day is now on a smaller scale, with 50 children this year from four to five after school program agencies. These agencies will rotate each year to give everyone a chance to enjoy the experience.

This year’s agencies include The House of Mercy, The JFK Center, The Boys and Girls Club and The MLK Center.

“I am really excited for the change,” said Director of Student Engagement and Leadership Development Sarah Allen. “There is a great new spirit in the students, with many of them showing it by wearing their “spirit” shirts. The students get to interact a lot more with the children since it’s a smaller group this year.”

Although the event is of a smaller size this year, many of the same traditions remain. Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus were still there to see the children and “Twas the Night before Christmas” was read.

Several clubs on campus held tables for the children to make crafts and take part in festive activities. The Multicultural Club had a table where the children could make and take home snow globes.

“I am involved in a lot of after school activities so this also seemed like a good fit for me to be involved in,” senior Carli Hafield said.

The children ranged from ages 4 to 10 and each was accompanied with a “buddy” to guide them around the activities for the day. Each child received a gift from Campus Ministry as way as the opportunity to shop for small items for their parent’s Christmas gifts from Mercyhurst Student Government (MSG).

Food and beverages were also provided for the children and volunteers.