Students, Staff, Community Give Back for Christmas

Friday, December 23, 2016
Rockhurst University ornament

The old saying goes that it’s better to give than to receive, and this Christmas season a number of Rockhurst University community members have taken that advice to heart, spending the days before the holiday break working to make the season a little brighter for those in need.

In addition to faculty and staff who took up their own collections or projects, a number of students took an invitation from the University’s service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, to decorate Christmas ornaments to be delivered to Hope House, a Kansas City-based shelter for victims of domestic violence. APO’s president, senior Victoria Ratcliffe, said over the course of several days, students passing through the Massman Hall Gallery decorated about 100 ornaments for the families at Hope House.

“One of my goals as president of APO was to hold a service project that the entire campus could get involved in,” she said.

The idea came from an activity at the organization’s annual conference.

“Students could stop by on their way to or from finals and be creative for a break from studying and give a little of their time for a great cause,” Ratcliffe said.

The University was also a part of other community efforts to help those in need during the holidays. Those who attended the University’s traditional annual Christmas concert, the Ceremony of Lessons and Carols at the beginning of December were asked to bring a nonperishable item for admission, yielding six barrels full of food for the pantry St. Francis Xavier Church. And the University’s food service provider, Chartwells, made a donation of produce — 800 pounds of potatoes, and 560 pounds each of oranges and apples — to St. Francis Xavier as well, helping the church assemble hundreds of baskets for families in need as part of it annual distribution of baskets with food for holiday meals.

“We are glad that we can help others who are less fortunate while at the same time continuing to build and strengthen our relationship with Rockhurst University and the surrounding community,” said Bruce Turnbough, senior director of dining services for Chartwells at Rockhurst.