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Campus community spreads Christmas Cheer

Taylor+Fishwild+%28%E2%80%9820%29+and+Jordanne+Twig+%28%E2%80%9820%29+participated+in+Christmas+Cheer.+
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Campus community spreads Christmas Cheer

Taylor Fishwild (‘20) and Jordanne Twig (‘20) participated in Christmas Cheer.

Taylor Fishwild (‘20) and Jordanne Twig (‘20) participated in Christmas Cheer.

Kien Dao (‘20) |Photo Bureau

Taylor Fishwild (‘20) and Jordanne Twig (‘20) participated in Christmas Cheer.

Kien Dao (‘20) |Photo Bureau

Kien Dao (‘20) |Photo Bureau

Taylor Fishwild (‘20) and Jordanne Twig (‘20) participated in Christmas Cheer.

Alanna Pals, Staff Writer

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Groups from all corners of campus have been purchasing and wrapping gifts for the annual celebration of Christmas Cheer.

Christmas Cheer is an event that raises money to provide gifts for Decorah families, primarily those with children, that would otherwise not get Christmas presents. The Student Activities Council Service Committee has held this event since 1991 with help from the Northeast Iowa Community Action Corporation.

SAC Service Co-Chair Jordanne Twigg (‘20) says the NEICAC is in contact with SAC Service beginning in September when they have gathered wish lists from the families and distribute them to groups participating in Christmas Cheer. Once SAC Service receives the lists, they send out forms in early October for people who wish to participate. Groups receive their assigned family’s wishlist the week before Thanksgiving so they can begin fundraising and collecting gifts.

Kien Dao (‘20) | Photo Bureau
Grace Larsen (‘19) participated in Christmas Cheer with Student Activities Council Service Committee.

“It’s a campus-wide event, but it just depends on if people want to sponsor a family or

not, and if they have the funds,” Twigg said. “It’s kind of all over campus that people do it, but not

everyone is involved.”

Different departments, offices, student organizations, and individuals participate across campus. Dining Services sponsored one large family this year and put up posters to raise awareness for donations and gifts. Dining Services Administrative Assistant Sheena Tollefson says the wish lists are also posted for anybody who wanted to bring specific gifts in.

The Admissions Office partnered with the Financial Aid Office and sponsored a large family

because they had 27 people in their group that could donate. Admissions Visit Coordinator Hannah Scheevel (‘06) and Supervisor of Campus Visits Deirdre Duvel spearheaded the Christmas Cheer process and sent out an email to everyone in their offices.

“We just asked for donations,” Scheevel said. “Then we had collection envelopes in our office and in the Financial Aid Office, and once everyone who wanted to donate donated, we went shopping … and we asked people to volunteer to do that as well.”

All of the donors for the Admissions and Financial Aid Offices were staff members, but, next year, Scheevel thinks it may be a good idea to include student workers, as they often have the students wrap the gifts during their work hours.

This year, some Brandt residents participated in Christmas Cheer. The Resident Assistants in Brandt decided that Christmas Cheer would become a building program and planned a Pie Your RA event. In order for an RA to be eligible to be pied, they needed to raise $20 in their donation jar.

According to Brandt Hall Director Teage Luther, the RAs continued to promote the event with their residents and support a good cause even if it meant getting a pie in the face.

“I think one of the biggest motivations has been what our [Christmas Cheer] family needs,” Luther said. “We have a poster in our social lounge displaying their needs and wants, and every child needs a coat, gloves, socks, and other personal items.”

Brandt also hosted a bake sale on Monday, Dec. 3 from 7 to 10 p.m. for final donations.

Kien Dao (‘20) | Photo Bureau
Cassidy Michel (‘20) smashes a pie in the face of Brandt Hall Director Teage Luther.

Christmas Cheer allows the Luther community to help those in Decorah. Once the money collection is finished, people participating go to buy presents for the families. This process went until Tuesday, Dec. 4, when all of the presents were collected in Marty’s from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“It’s just fun to know that they’re doing the same kind of community activity that we’re doing and

knowing that you’re making a family or some kid’s Christmas a little bit brighter,” Tollefson said.

“It might not seem like a lot, but it means a lot to them.”

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