Campus opens hearts and wallets to community cause

Pat Simone hands a package to Sabina Howell.Pat Simone, business development research assistant in the Cross-Border Institute, hands off a package to Sabina Howell of the Office of Public Affairs and Communications for delivery to the Adopt-a-Family program of the Children’s Aid Society.

It’s always nice to be able to give back to the community, says Pat Simone, business development research assistant in the Cross-Border Institute. Her colleagues collected gifts for a local family in need as part of the campus collaboration with the Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society Foundation.

Boxes of gifts filled a truck collecting contributions for the Adopt-a-Family charity drive, Tuesday outside the Welcome Centre. Under the program, faculties, departments and individuals across campus “adopt” families and raise cash or buy items on their wish lists.

“We think it’s a great cause,” Simone says. “Everyone should have a gift to open on Christmas.”

The need is real, says Sabina Howell, who co-ordinated the effort through the University’s public affairs office.

“The families always list necessities such as clothing and housewares as well as some toys for the children,” she says. “It really makes you feel fortunate to be able to share with people during the holidays.”

This year, the University of Windsor community collected more than $25,000 for 43 families, making it the largest single participating organization, says Andrea Barnett, community initiatives co-ordinator for the Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society.

“For many of the families supported by the holiday program, whatever you put in the bags and boxes for them is what they will have for Christmas,” she says. “There is often not enough money at the end of the day for extras once rent and regular household expenses are paid — this give families a nice meal and special things to enjoy during the holidays.”