Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Christ. Often this message is lost amidst all the parties and gift-giving. Let us all remember the true meaning of this holiday and fulfill the University's mission of servant leadership by taking part in the 12 Acts of Christmas Kindness movement.
This initiative, part of Christmas at the Hall , was originally inspired by former nursing student Hillary Sadlon, whose generosity and compassion encouraged the Seton Hall community to give unselfishly to others. This year, the 12 Acts of Christmas Kindness movement is being done in honor of two current Seton Hall students who are following Hillary's example. Read their stories below.
How You Can Give
Here are some examples of simple ways you can give of your heart this Christmas. Feel free to perform any of these acts or to come up with your own:
- Participate in DOVE's toy drive
- Volunteer with one of DOVE's year-round initiatives, including Jaquelin's soccer program
- Donate socks to help the homeless and support Jeremy's initiative, Soxcess
- Write your mom and dad a thank you note for all they have done for you
- Donate a coat to the Seton Hall coat drive
- Send Christmas cards to soldiers overseas through the Red Cross
- Participate in DOVE's food drive (or any food drive!)
- Donate blood
- Volunteer at your local homeless shelter
- Pick up trash you see in the street
- Help an elderly person or a parent with small children load their groceries into their car
- Bring a cup of coffee for the local gas station attendant
- Pay the toll for the car behind you on the highway
- Walk the dogs at a local animal shelter (and pet the kitties)
Share Your Act of Kindness
Charlotte, N.C. Christmas Reception
December 12, 2016, 6 p.m.
How Other Pirates Give
Social and behavioral sciences major Jeremy Garriga has spent his entire adult life volunteering his time to help others. As an EMT, he was one of the first responders at the scene when a NJ Transit train crashed into the Hoboken station earlier this year. He also spent some time in Buena Vista, Honduras - where a trip to the doctor or dentist requires an hours-long trek through the mountains on foot - assisting dentists with cavity fillings, working in the pharmacy and triage, and consulting with patients. But it was his time as a homeless shelter volunteer that inspired a project especially near and dear to him. "I asked the [shelter] director what else I could do to help," he remembers, "and she told me socks were the most necessary item, but the least donated." Thus, he founded Soxcess in 2011, and the initiative has since collected and disseminated more than 4,000 pairs of socks and other necessities for the homeless.
Throughout her childhood, nursing student Jaquelin Rivas-Tejada would receive toys for Christmas from Santa, who would visit the Don Bosco Youth Center in her hometown of Orange, NJ. Years later, she learned that the toys she grew up cherishing had been donated through DOVE's annual toy drive. As a young adult, she is now giving back to her community; she has created, and continues to be heavily involved in, a soccer program at the Youth Center so that high school students can "have fun, be themselves and play in a safe environment." Due to the program's success, Jaquelin has partnered with DOVE's volunteers to help run it, and it is now a registered DOVE semester-long program.
We encourage all members of the Seton Hall community to emulate the examples of these students. Please fill out the form on this page to make a pledge to perform your 12 Acts of Christmas Kindness. You can also tell us what acts you plan to do, share stories about the acts you have completed or nominate someone you know who has inspired you with their selfless acts. You may also share your pledge and your stories on social media: #shukindness. We will spotlight and share these stories during the holiday season as an inspiration to others.
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