The true holiday spirit is about giving—and you might be surprised by how A&F has embraced the sentiment. Below, see how more than 40 of your colleagues have given back to those less fortunate than them this holiday season.
The first annual Giving Tuesday, a day devoted to giving back, occurred on December 2, 2014. In honor of this new-found global tradition, Bursar’s Office Director Thom Ruby, who works as a Santa Claus every year, put his Santa-like looks to use as he volunteered his services at St. Margret’s Catholic Church. A large group comprised of senior citizens, the homeless, and individuals with mental illness attended a dinner at the church. “I passed out gifts to the attendees and by the end of the evening I had everyone singing together. It was my way of giving back this season and it was truly an amazing experience.”
As an active parishioner at Empowerment Temple, Transportation Supervisor Jermaine Vaughn participates in an annual tradition of transporting the homeless to a free Thanksgiving dinner. The church usually rents the vehicles, but this year Vaughn had a better idea. “I went to my director to see if it was possible to use the TU vehicles for the trip and she agreed.” On Thanksgiving afternoon drivers Phillipa Lynch and Travis Bell transported over 50 homeless to dinner at Carolina Kitchen in Washington, DC. Vaughn said “the restaurant’s owner created the perfect set-up, with music and dancing following an excellent meal. I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend my Thanksgiving, and it was clear that everyone had a wonderful time!”
More than 30 A&F employees worked alongside students, sports club teams and colleagues during TU’s 7th annual Stuff-A-Bus campaign. Hosted by the Veteran’s Center, the campaign collects unwrapped toys and canned foods for Toys for Tots and the Maryland Food Bank so the items can be given to those in need. The results of this year’s campaign are exceptional: TU donated a total of 2,927 pounds of food–more than twice the amount last year–and 780 toys, 270 more than last year. The donations will provide nearly 2,000 meals for the hungry, plus make Christmas possible for hundreds of families. Several A&F members, including University Budget Coordinator Donna Auvil and Associate Director of Event and Conference Services Jeannie Deckelbaum, not only volunteer but also help facilitate the campaign. Auvil says of the process, “I try to help with this particular campaign because I love Christmas. I love seeing the joy on a child’s face when he or she receives a gift.”
Six A&F employees—Beth Walsh, Brooke Jacobs, Dan Sommerville, Terry Mullen, Erin Durange and Carol Ridge— decorated a tree for the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Festival of Trees . The annual event raises money the non-profit, which assists young people with developmental disabilities. Using the theme “Places You’ll Go,” A&F’s tree featured pictures of TU students traveling abroad. Other ornaments were made from scratch by A&F staff, who used gold and black materials to give the tree a TU feel.
If you’re feeling inspired by your colleagues, there’s still time to give! You can donate to the TUPD’s Blanket Drive until Monday.
Written by Amy Juskus and Tyler New