Students at St. Thomas Aquinas College partner with People to People—the county’s largest food pantry—and challenge the entire college community to donate the cost of one coffee to Project Joy, the nonprofit’s holiday gift drive initiative that serves 1500 low-income families in Rockland County, NY.
“All children deserve hope and joy during the holidays, and I’m honored to work with the creative students at St. Thomas Aquinas College to spread the message of our Project Joy initiative,” states Diane Serratore, CEO of People to People. The Project Joy program depends upon the generosity of Rockland residents who can help by making a monetary donation or by adopting an entire family’s holiday wish list. “My holiday wish is for every family in need of assistance to be adopted!” Serratore adds. Residents can begin reviewing letters and wish lists on November 6 and can adopt families until December 8 (the first day for gift drop off) at the People to People headquarters in Nanuet, NY.
Elaine Winship, Professor of Communication Arts, and her Public Relations and Social Media students are working with People to People as a part of a semester long service/experiential learning project. Professor Winship notes, “This project is invaluable. It bridges the gap between the classroom and the real world, allowing my students to practice and apply their public relations, event planning, and content development skills, while providing service to people in the community.”
Communication Arts student Anthony Mathis says, “I’ve learned so much from this experience, helping families in need during the holidays, while gaining real world experience to add to my resume.” In addition to the cup of joy campaign, students invite all to attend “St. Thomas Aquinas College’s Joy Party” on November 14 from 1:30-4:00 PM in the Romano Student Alumni Center, where letters and wish lists will be displayed and party guests can adopt families. Holiday festivities will abound as gaggles of festively clad students will run raffles, serve refreshments, and participate in assorted activities, while encouraging the campus and the community at large to provide holiday magic for children in need. “If enough people donate the cost of just one drink this season, our campus can provide hundreds of holiday gifts for Project Joy,” Mathis adds.
About People to People
People to People is Rockland County’s primary hunger relief organization that annually puts food on the tables of nearly 50,000 low-income Rockland residents who face food insecurity every day. Working with community organizations and government agencies, People to People provides emergency food assistance to the most vulnerable among us including children, seniors, veterans, the disabled and members of the LGBTQ community. Food is a basic need but People to People works to provide children with the tools they need to be successful in school and to bring joy to children from struggling families for the holidays. People to People believes that we are all in this together if we are to make our community a better place for everyone. For more information, contact Diane Serratore at 845-623-4913 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About St. Thomas Aquinas College
St. Thomas Aquinas College is an independent liberal arts college located on 76 acres in Rockland County, NY, providing education at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The College’s diverse student body of approximately 2,000 full and part-time students can choose from over 100 majors, minors, and specializations across four Schools: Arts & Social Sciences, Business, Education, and STEM. The College is recognized by U.S. News & World Report in the Top-Tier for Regional Universities, and by Colleges of Distinction in its New York edition for Business, Education, and Career Development. The College is also recognized as a Yellow Ribbon Program institution. St. Thomas Aquinas College is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools; its School of Education is accredited by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP), and its School of Business is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). For more information, visit www.stac.edu.