It is important to be able to provide opportunities for people to give in ways that resonate with them, because philanthropy is personal…It’s all about making lives better.
The holiday season traditionally brings about a spirit of giving and each year members of the Bridgewater State University community find ways to volunteer and benefit others.
The BSU police department; Bridgewater police; and Sodexo, the food services and facilities management company that serves BSU; teamed up to continue the 22-year tradition of providing Thanksgiving meals to seniors through the Bridgewater Senior Center.
On Nov. 17, 250 meals were hand delivered to seniors by police officers who volunteered their time.
“It not only is good for our seniors to receive the meals, but in some cases many seniors, particularly over the past two years, have lived more secluded lives,” said Bridgewater Police Chief Christopher Delmonte. “Having the interaction was good for all of us.”
Each meal consisted of a full turkey dinner complete with dessert, all of it prepared by Sodexo. Discretionary funds were approved through the president’s office to fund the effort.
“We are very fortunate to have had this partnership with the university for this long,” Delmonte said.
Over in Tillinghast Hall, Brian Duchaney, director of the BSU Military and Veteran Student Services, created an official drop-off location for the 2021 Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. Members of the BSU community were encouraged to drop off new, unwrapped toys to support the drive.
“Every year I try to donate to Toys for Tots because giving children hope is something that’s important to me personally,” Duchaney said. “It may not be much, but a little joy can go a long way.”
No one knows this better than Lindsey Couturier, head BSU softball coach and coordinator of external relations for athletics. For the past five years, Couturier has collected shoeboxes filled with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items to benefit Operation Christmas Child. The boxes are delivered to children the world who are in need. Couturier turned to family, friends, BSU co-workers and student-athletes for donations and was able to fill 50 shoeboxes.
“The response was overwhelming,” she said.
A winter gear drive was held through the BSU sociology club that benefited Second Chances, a Massachusetts-based organization that delivers free clothing to homeless and low-income people.
“As a group of sociology majors, we understand the needs and inequalities that plague our society,” said club President Elobel Corneilo, ’22. “We are trying to take what we learn in the classroom and find ways for it to have a real-world impact.”
The BSU community also showed its generosity during the annual Giving Tuesday event held on Nov. 30. More than $10,000 was raised by alumni, parents, staff, faculty, and board members to benefit the BSU Food Pantry.
“People in our community care,” said Ellen Cuttle Oliver, chief development officer for alumni and development. “It is important to be able to provide opportunities for people to give in ways that resonate with them, because philanthropy is personal…It’s all about making lives better.”
There are many other ways members of the BSU community gave of themselves during this holiday season, something that will undoubtedly continue long after the holidays are over.
“Ideally, giving back should be year-round,” Cornelio said. “It is our obligation to serve those who are underserved. Give, feed, help, protect and care for those who are – hopefully only at the moment – in greater need than ourselves.”
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