Holiday drives encourage spirit of the season

By Sophie Foster

News Co-Editor

            Two holiday collection drives are being held to accumulate donations for those in need this holiday season.

The first, run by the Center for the Environment and Society, will be collecting mittens, gloves, and new, unwrapped toys for children of all ages in Kent County, Md.

According to an email sent by the CES department, donations will directly support the Kent 4-H Toy Drive and will then be delivered to local families to help keep children warm throughout the winter.

Donations will “help CES fill [their] mitten tree with holiday cheer for Kent County children this winter,” the email said.

The CES drive will run until Friday, Dec. 9, and will collect items at Semans-Griswold Environmental Hall and in the Visitor’s Center of the Casey Academic Center.

“Everyone at CES loves to participate in giving to the community in one way or another,” Center Coordinator Sherri Spray said. “We give throughout the year and finding a way to give around the holidays was important to us.”

According to Spray, she works with both 4-H, which has this yearly toy drive, and the Lions Club, which holds a food donation drive, so she informed her team of these efforts and they agreed to offer assistance.

“The collection directly benefits over 350 families in the Kent County area,” Spray said. “All of the toys and gloves or hats collected are sorted and given to local families in need…We want for these items to be able to provide a smile on a young child’s face this holiday season.”  

According to Event and Outreach Coordinator Carolyn Thompson, the CES team plans to deliver the supplies to 4-H themselves and help distribute all collected items to the families around the county on Monday, Dec. 12.

The second of the drives, managed through a partnership between Cleopatra’s Sisters, Residential Life, and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, is a winter clothing collection for a local family.

“Join us in gathering winter items for local school kids,” an Instagram post from Cleopatra’s Sisters said, adding that “the holidays are a time for giving.”

This collaborative holiday drive will benefit three children: an eight year old girl, a five year old boy, and a four year old girl.

The eldest of the children is a size 10/12 in clothes and a size three in shoes, and likes pink, glittery and feminine things as well as hair bows and headbands; the middle-aged child is a size 10 or medium in clothes, a size two in shoes, and loves dinosaurs; and the youngest child is a size 4T or 5T in clothes, size children’s 11 in shoes, and likes Baby Shark, baby dolls, and baby doll accessories.

According to Director of Residential Life Amy Sine, Cleopatra’s Sisters Community Service Chair senior Shannon Salandy is the Resident Advisor spearheading this project, a role Salandy took on when Sine reached out to all RAs inquiring about interest in the drive.

Salandy and Sine worked together previously on the We All Care project, and it was Salandy who suggested Cleopatra’s Sisters collaborate on the endeavor because of their emphasis on community service in their club’s mission statement. The SAAC was invited to collaborate, as well, in an attempt on Salandy’s part to make connections with student athletes.

“Long story short, my motivation was to bring different sets of groups on campus together so that we can achieve one common goal,” Salandy said. “As a civic engagement intern, it was also a great key that could be used to unlock the disconnect between the WC community and the Chestertown community.”

According to Salandy, one of the beauties of living in a small town like Chestertown is connecting with the people who live there, including the children.

“I have had the pleasure of interacting with the children from the elementary school and middle school as early as my freshman year,” Salandy said. “I love that I have been allowed the opportunity to make a difference in their lives alongside my fellow peers.”

Members of the Washington College community can purchase items or donate money to support this drive. Donations can be dropped off with RAs or at Student Affairs. Monetary donations can also be made via Venmo to Sine at Amysine7 with “WCC” included as the reason for payment.

Elm archive photo

Photo Caption: The winter season represents a time of giving for many.

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