Sharing Christmas Joy

GWU Students Celebrate the Season by Spreading Christmas Cheer

Sharing Christmas Joy

Each year, between studying for finals and writing research papers, Gardner-Webb students enjoy spending time sharing Christmas joy.

Reflecting on why she participates, GWU student Blaire Pope, president of Joyful Hands Sign Language Ministry team, offered, “Although I am only one person, I hope that the kind things I do for other people will create a ripple effect and inspire others to find ways to make their communities a little brighter.”

Listed are some of the ways that students spread Christmas cheer in December:

• More than 50 students in the Honors Program met at Dr. Tom Jones’ house to bake and decorate hundreds of cookies for the homeless shelters in Shelby, N.C.

• Through the “Lending a Paw Tree,” sponsored by the Little Bulldog Backpack Program, presents and food were provided for 41 children.

• Several members of the GWU football team organized a flag football game for a dozen athletes from Cleveland County Special Olympics.

• The GWU Chorale sponsored “Concert for a Cause,” to collect non-perishable food for the “Empty Tummy” food distribution program at Calvary Baptist Church in Shelby, N.C.

• Through Prison Fellowship, a Christian nonprofit serving prisoners, Gardner-Webb students purchased gifts for 87 children of prisoners and gave them a Christmas party.

• For nearly two decades, Gardner-Webb has partnered with the Salvation Army to assist those in need during the holidays. Services have included toy and canned food drives, bell ringing, and gift and food distribution.

• The Student Photo Staff volunteered their time to make Christmas portraits for eight families in need. In addition to the portraits, 22 children received a small gift from Santa.

• Students donated a record 149 filled shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. The nonprofit Samaritan's Purse delivers the gifts internationally. The Office of Christian Life and Service has coordinated the effort for the last 10 years. Some clubs on campus, such Joyful Hands, pack shoeboxes together.