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By Shelagh Peden
If home is where the heart is, then Concordia is considered home for many of us. This year, we celebrated with many cultures and came together for those less fortunate.
At Holidays Around the World, an event at the Loyola Chapel hosted by the Dean of Students Office and Multi-faith Chaplaincy, over 80 curious onlookers came to see, taste and celebrate different cultural and religious traditions. They learned about Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the story of Christmas, Winter Solstice and Muhurram, while entertainment was provided by Carolers for a Cause, drummers, and Hanukkah music. It was a lovely event that spanned many cultures and shared the warmth of the holidays.
Despite widespread fears that many charities would not reach fundrising goals due to the economic recession, Concordians proved their generosity once again during the holiday period. Having raised money and collected non-perishables for those both within and outside the university, we showed how deeply Concordia is involved in our own circles and throughout the Greater Montreal community.
The annual food drive held by Distribution Services, Angels Without Wings, saw four skids of food and clothing delivered to Chez Doris and St. Michael’s Mission. Chemistry and biochemistry professor emerita Judith Kornblatt said, “I was working as a volunteer this morning at the Red Roof (St. Michael’s Mission on President Kennedy) when the truck from Concordia arrived and boxes and boxes of food and clothing were unloaded. Many, many thanks to all of you.”
While Centraide of Greater Montreal reached their overall goal of $54 000 000, many universities didn’t reach institutional goals. Concordia’s campaign will be extended in the hopes of reaching the university’s goal of $190 000. The tally currently stands at $160 000.
Some TESL students saw an opportunity to give back: after the popular Centraide pasta lunch downtown the resourceful students found a way to share the yummy leftovers with those less fortunate living on the streets in the area.
The Carolers for a Cause performed six concerts of holiday tunes for passers-by in the lobbies of the major SGW Campus buildings. The golden voices of Roberto Chen-Rangel, Cynthia Hedrich, Katherine Hedrich, Lorraine Toscano, Danielle Pullen and Adrienne Willott, (joined on two occasions by Meghan Denison and Mary Burns), raised $20 010 for the Multi-faith Chaplaincy’s Student Emergency Food Fund, a fund that ensures cash-strapped students can get enough food on the table. These students can then get coupons for local grocers from the fund.
The fund benefitted from fundraising endeavours on campus, including the 20th annual Library Christmas Auction that raised $5 126.45, bringing the event’s 20-year total to over $61 000. As the saying goes, charity begins at home, so a portion was given to internal causes, like the fund and Financial Aid & Awards. The remainder will be distributed to a number of local charities. Full details will be posted on their website.
The Student Emergency Food Fund held its own fundraiser, selling volunteer-made ribbons and decorations to go on the holiday tree in the Library Atrium. They raised $431.56.
Chaplain Ellie Hummel reminded everyone that despite the holidays being the busiest time of year for the fund, donations are heartily appreciated year-round: Contact Hummel at ext. 3590 or by email.