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Gifts of Gratitude sees great results

by Jordan Soldaczewski - Staff Writer
Tue, Jan 31st 2017 11:00 am
Gifts of Gratitude a program established by the The College at Brockport's Community Development program has raised over 1,000 items for families in need.  A wide array of goods ranging from clothing to food will help the community to support local families.
(Courtesy of Nikole Van Wie)
Gifts of Gratitude a program established by the The College at Brockport's Community Development program has raised over 1,000 items for families in need. A wide array of goods ranging from clothing to food will help the community to support local families. (Courtesy of Nikole Van Wie)

More than 1,000 items were donated to local families in need  through Community Development's "Gifts of Gratitude". 16 families, whose children usually receive free breakfast and lunch at school, received food, hats and gloves among other items to support them through the winter break. 

The initiative reached families throughout the Greater Rochester community. Donations were accepted from November 14 through December 16, and gift boxes full of items were delivered to the families the following day.

According to The Daily Eagle, donations made included "$560 in Wegman's gift cards, 177 packages of pasta, 145 dessert items, 463 canned goods, 65 packages of potatoes, 33 snack packages, 42 breakfast food items, 15 packages of gravy, 15 packages of stuffing, four drinks, 70 pairs of hats, gloves and socks, and 30 scarves."

Coordinator for Service & Community Building Nikole Van Wie organized the project, and she believes it was a huge success. One which brought together the Brockport community.

"There were a lot of volunteers from all over the campus; faculty, staff, students that came and sorted food,"Van Wie said. "There were 16 families so just evenly distributing the food amongst the families was quite the task but the students, faculty, and staff did a great job in doing that." 

Van Wie explained how students got together to help decorate boxes to make them more like a gift than just cardboard filled with food.

"They really personalized the gifts," Van Wie said. "We took the hats and mittens and we wrapped them in gift boxes, and we wrapped the big cardboard boxes with the food so that it looked like holiday gifts." 

The holidays are a time of heightened awareness of people's misfortunes and people's struggles, and to take away the look of struggle on someone's face during this time of the year was very rewarding for her, according to Van Wie.

"It was really rewarding to see the families faces when they received these boxes," Van Wie said. "We think 'oh gifts, we want all these items, we want iPhone's and TV's' and things like that but this was food, and people were genuinely appreciative and happy to receive these gifts during the holiday season." 

To see a list of all who donated to the project, visit brockport.edu.


jsold1@u.brockport.edu 

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