In the spirit of the holiday season, USciences students, staff, and faculty ramped up their efforts to help others in our community. While University groups participate in many charitable functions throughout the year, this holiday season featured such activities as donating necessities to a local women’s shelter, organizing a blood drive, and feeding the homeless – their extraordinary efforts encompassed the true meaning of giving back:
Circle K International Food Drive for Philabundance In support of Philabundance, the region’s largest hunger relief organization, the USciences chapter of Circle K International held a food drive to collect canned goods, cereals, pasta, peanut butter, jelly, and laundry and dish detergent. Campus groups, such as the Graduate Student Organization, participated in a competition to collect the most donations in hopes of winning a party sponsored by the Student Government Association. Phi Kappa Psi took home the prize for the largest collection, gathering nearly 300 items of food.
Annual Teddy Bear Drive A yearly tradition, faculty and staff collected new teddy bears and stuffed animals to donate to the children at Family Support Services for their holiday party. The children range in age from newborn to 5 years old and are part of a child abuse treatment program.
Alpha Phi Omega Blood Drive While blood is needed all year round, the need is especially high during the winter months when many high school and college-age donors are on break. For this reason, on December 14, 2009, Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity partnered with the American Red Cross to host a blood drive on campus.
Student Recreation Committee Walks for ALS Rob Pfleging PharmD’14, Nicole Payette PharmD’14, Dani Paci PharmD’14, Becky Burris PharmD’14, and Jack Korbutov PharmD’11, all members of the Student Recreation Committee (SRC), participated in the Philadelphia Walk to Defeat ALS. ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a devastating neuromuscular condition for which there is no known cause or cure. The SRC raised and donated $240 to find a cure.
One Big Book Club Collection for Eliza Shirley Women's Shelter On November 15, 2009, students in One Big Book Club volunteered at the Salvation Army Eliza Shirley House, an emergency shelter for homeless single women and families, where they brought donations, decorated for the Thanksgiving holiday, spent time with the children, and organized donations. In response to the shelter’s many needs, the Club also held a campus-wide drive to collect towels, toiletries, diapers, and more, for the women and children.
Division of Student Affairs Stockings for Kids Program The Center for Community Connections in the Division of Student Affairs partnered with the Salvation Army to bring holiday cheer to local families in need. They stuffed and donated stockings with toys, gift certificates, jewelry, balls, games, dolls, and more.
Phi Kappa Psi in the Community For the brothers of Phi Kappa Psi, the fall semester was filled with time spent giving back. Their efforts included volunteering to clean-up and landscape Woodlands Cemetery, helping Omega Chi Psi make breakfast for the families living at the University City Ronald McDonald House, participating in the Philadelphia AIDS Walk to raise money for HIV/AIDS education and prevention, and partnering with the Phi Kappa Psi chapter from Drexel University to feed the homeless during Thanksgiving.
Dept. of Campus Recreation Raises Money for Go4theGoal Foundation This year, the Department of Campus Recreation’s annual Hoops for Humanity 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament on November 18, 2009, raised $160 for the Go4theGoal Foundation. The non-profit foundation was founded by USciences professor Dr. Richard Stefanacci and his wife Beth, when their oldest son was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a form of bone cancer. The funds will be used to provide supportive services to children with cancer and their families with the goal to provide a sense of “normalcy” in their lives while they “Go4theGoal” of being healthy again soon.
Office of Community Partnerships Walk to Fight Heart Disease On November 14, 2009, roughly 10 teams comprised of USciences students, staff, and faculty walked in the American Heart Association’s (AHA) annual 5k Start! Philadelphia Heart Walk. Led by the Office of Community Partnerships, the teams raised more than $1,700 to support the AHA's mission to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Student PT Association The student group donated $1,459 to the Magee Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation. Many of the students have volunteered over the past year with the Magee Eagles, a rugby team for men and women with quadriplegia. This Foundation helps support the team’s equipment and travel expenses.