• Laura Munoz

Operation: Christmas at USF

OC@USF is a campus-wide community service event for the residents of Day Break Homeless Center in Joliet. On December 20th, residents from Day Break will be coming to the Rec Center to receive a hot Christmas dinner, sort through donated clothing items for them to keep (or give away as gifts), take pictures with Santa, and keep a bag of toiletries for their personal convenience. Children will be able to enter “Santa’s Shop” to pick toys that they would like to keep, and have access to the Children’s Corner for games, crafts, and snacks while their parent/guardian picks out their clothing items.

As the lead coordinator for this event, the idea originated from a very similar event that my church, St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton, hosted for the local community in Simpsonville, S.C. Initially, I didn’t think that an event of this size would be possible to coordinate, but I was wrong. The Joliet and USF community including students, staff, administration, faculty, and former alumni have come together to not only donate clothing items, toys, toiletries, and their time, but their compassion for individuals in our community who may not have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas.

I have been overwhelmed with the amount of donations that I have received (in a good way), and I am so excited to start the sorting process in preparation for the big day! Currently, there are over 75 bags of clothing, and other items being stored at the St. Clare Campus.

Volunteer opportunities will begin December 5th until the day of the event, December 20th. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Laura Muñoz.

The last day to sign up is Monday, November 30th. All volunteers will receive a complimentary T-shirt, thanks to the office of Family & Alumni Relations. If you have any questions, please e-mail Laura Muñoz (lauramunoz1@stfrancis.edu).

A special thanks to everyone who has donated items including Sodexo, Maintenance, Security, USF Ministry, 1% Service Committee, Day Break Homeless Center, Office of Student Engagement & Leadership, Professor Lynnann Murphy and her Leach College of Nursing class, Joanna Kourtidis, and everyone else who has put in the time and effort to make sure this event is a success!

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