“[The Holiday Helper Drive] is just a really easy way to give back, especially when we’re already always buying things,” said Mariah Trujillo, the Dumke Center for Civic Engagement community engagement team lead and junior environmental studies major.
The Dumke Center for Civic Engagement is hosting a Holiday Helper Drive from Nov. 1 to Dec. 10, which aims for members of the Westminster College community to donate hygiene and household items, such as soap, toothbrushes, deodorants and different types of towels. The donations will go to local refugee families, according to Julie Tille, the director of civic engagement and experiential learning.
“We’re going to [drop off items] specifically to the International Refugee Committee,” Trujillo said. “We’re partnering with the [Office for Global Peace and Spirituality] and some of their donations are gonna be going to The Federation of Jewish and Muslim Women.”
Trujillo said the IRC has a priority list of items they have been looking for with a tier of priority levels.
“[The IRC] have some high priority items that are really easy to buy, like dish soap and hand sanitizer,” Trujillo said. “[The IRC] also have some more expensive items, like some kettles and some warm winter clothes that are kind of harder [to get].”
Trujillo said the Dumke Center has placed a drop station in Foster Hall.
“We try to get maybe some of the alumni or faculty who have a little bit more resources to help us out to collect those items.We got a donation for an electric kettle [on Nov. 30.]”
Trujillo and Tille said the Dumke Center for Civic Engagement has received at least 50 donations so far.
“We’ve had amazing support […],” Tille said. “We’re very thankful for that. We’ve had an amazing comforter come [on Nov. 30].”
Tille said the Dumke Center runs the Holiday Helper Drive program almost every year.
“[The Holiday Helper Drive] is something that I have been really impressed by the level of turnout by the Westminster community,” Tille said. “When we plan for [the Holiday Helper Drive], we try to make sure there are items that would be as inclusive as possible for all people, [such as] students, staff and faculty, because we all know that we have different financial struggles periodically and in different ways.”
Tille said the Dumke Center has been really intentional thinking about the Westminster community when planning for the Holiday Helper Drive.
“I just feel like the level of support the Westminster community gives to [the Holiday Helper Drive,] it really just shows our commitment to this work,” Tille said. “It’s very heartwarming to see. [It’s also heartwarming to see] the excitement when people drop [donations] off.”
Ben Snarr, the Dumke Center for Civic Engagement community engagement coordinator and first-year undeclared major, said members of the Westminster community can participate in the drive by:
- Grabbing an ornament [from the Center for Centers garage door in Bassis Student Center]
- Purchasing the item listed on the ornament
- Bringing the item back with the ornament attached [by Dec. 10]
“I think [the Holiday Helper Drive is] a really great way to just give people things that are simple that they need and a way where it’s not hard for the person getting them to get them,” Snarr said. “Cause we tell you, like, ‘Here’s your choices. Choose what you want to get,’ instead of just kind of leaving it up to people.”
Tille said the Dumke Center is really thankful for the engagement people have shown.
“It’s something that I feel is really important as an institution and representing who we are, our place in the local community and, also, an opportunity to have a shared experience in being a part of our local community and helping others.” Tille said.