Above: Members of the charity drive team gather with donations
The following article was submitted by York is U’s Jeremy Greenberg, coordinator, student alumni programs, Alumni and Advancement Services.
The 2004 charity drive mounted by the Volunteer Centre and York is U concluded on Dec. 3, 2004, with a closing ceremony that brought together a spectrum of student organizations and staff members from across the Keele campus for one common cause: to fight hunger and spread the warmth and spirit of the holiday season to the less fortunate in our community. The drive spanned the month of November and raised a remarkable number of donations of non-perishable food items, and new and gently used clothing and toys.
“We got a spectacular response from everyone we spoke to,” said Sayma Hai, charity and partnership director of York is U. “Our volunteers went around to the club offices with a general information package about the drive and almost all the clubs were very enthusiastic about participating. This program really spoke to our mission of spreading a blanket of spirit, tradition and pride around the campus and bringing the York community together to reach out to the less fortunate in our community.”
Zeynep Babir, coordinator of the Volunteer Centre and this year’s charity drive coordinator, was very impressed with the result. Last year’s drive collected 10 boxes of donations; this year’s grew to include more than 30 boxes of clothing, three large bins of food items and more than 300 toys.
“We have a lot of people to be thankful to,” said Hai. “It was a real privilege to work with Zeynep and the rest of the team. The volume of donations collected and the response we got from everyone really speaks to the tremendous dedication and hard work that the team put into the event. To me it was really inspiring to see everyone work so hard especially given that it took place in such a busy time of the year when students are bogged down with exams, essays and assignments.” Hai also extended a warm thank you to everyone who donated items, saying “the drive couldn’t have been such a huge success without the support of the York community.”
The proceeds will benefit York’s very own food bank, Food For Thought, some local shelters, the Bloor MacMillan Children’s Centre, the Annual Shoebox Drive organized by the Rotaract Club of York University, and the Single Parents at York University Holiday Party organized by the Student Centre.
Hai said, “I am really proud of the success of this year’s drive and hope that this will become a tradition and continue to grow in years to come.”