|This year's pledge class with the Pledge Chairs and myself inside our Student Union!|
This event is also paired with a tree decoration competition in the Student Union between various clubs and organizations across the University. The Ambassador club's tree was decked out in green. The History club made their Christmas tree look like Abraham Lincoln. There was a pile of canned goods for a food drive under the Circle K tree, and the Biology Honors Club was full of tinsel DNA that wrapped around it! In all honesty the seasonal-spirit has caught on to Mercyhurst and moods seem to be high. Which is perfect for the giving season!
My last and favorite event that happens each year is very significant to me! In the past years campus has hosted an event called Christmas on Campus, which has now transitioned to our Miracle on 38th Street. It is an annual event that occurs in which Mercyhurst opens up our facilities to local community after-school sites, and allows for various students from Erie neighborhoods to come celebrate the holidays. Each year these students are brought on campus from their various sites to participate in the event hosted by many offices at Mercyhurst.
This year the event was sponsored and hosted by the Campus Involvement Center, Campus Ministry, the Office of Service-Learning, the Multicultural Center, Parkhurst Dining Services, and many student clubs and organizations. There were nearly 50 students from the International House of Mercy, Erie Boys and Girls Club, the MLK Center, and the JFK Center. Our youngest visitor was just 5 years old and the eldest was just 11. I enjoy that they come onto campus because they then have an opportunity to be paired with a "buddy" student from Mercyhurst who then assists them for the afternoon during the events.
One of the event highlights is for retired English professor, Barry McAndrew to return to Mercyhurst and read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. The children are all too excited and can barely sit with all the anticipation for his animated storytelling.
I have participated in this event every year so far at Mercyhurst, and nothing brings me more joy than seeing these students interact with Santa. My favorite thing about our Santa visit is that each child has an opportunity to get a gift. For some of the children, this gift makes their whole life light up. I heard numerous kids saying "This is just what I wanted!!". Nothing beats their smiles and "thank yous" to Santa!
|L-R: Brian Lombardo (MSG Vice President), myself, Mrs. Clause, Santa, and Emily Carrier (MSG Senior Senator) helping hand out presents to the children during Miracle on 38th Street event.|