The holidays remind us this is the season of giving. All members of SUNY make a concerted effort to volunteer and contribute to their respective campuses and local communities. The 30 Days of Giving campaign highlights students and faculty across all of our 64 campuses who participate in volunteerism and give back to those in need. With over 467,000 students and three million alumni, we want to celebrate the impact the SUNY community has made in all of their unique community service projects. As we learned last year, the byproduct of taking volunteerism to scale is not only building character in our students themselves as they join our over three million alumni, but also to set an example of impact as the nation’s largest university system.
Columbia-Greene Community College
Columbia-Greene Community College helps families in need at the holidays with its Giving Tree Project.
The program, now in it’s second year, is coordinated by Associate Professor of Computer Science/Mathematics Joseph Scampoli and Assistant Professor for Human Services Dawn DeFino.
Basically, the program is a combination of adopt-a-family efforts from various organizations in both Columbia and Greene counties and employees at C-GCC. The organizations include Community Action of Greene County, Columbia County DSS, Catholic Charities and the Mental Health Association.
The organizations provide a wish list of items for each family. The information for each individual family member is then printed on a hand-shaped ornament that is hung on the Giving Tree.
The tree is displayed on campus throughout November and part of December.
Members of the campus community are able to ‘adopt’ an individual family member – or an entire family – by selecting an ornament, purchasing the items described on that ornament, and returning those purchases.
Once all of the items have been returned, they are packed and delivered back to the community organizations.
Last year’s Giving Tree Project served 18 total families, including 72 individual family members, comprising 48 children and 24 adults.
This year, the project will serve 25 families, including 85 individuals, comprised of 54 children and 31 adults as well as 5 cats and 4 dogs.
Glenn is a student assistant in the Office of New Media of the State University of New York. He is an undergraduate economics and political science major at the University at Albany in Albany, NY.