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Mary Anne Beaudoin helps Pat Roberts load donationsOrganizer Mary Anne Beaudoin helps Pat Roberts load donations from the fifth and sixth floors of Chrysler Hall Tower onto the Adopt-a-Family truck.

Campus comes together to aid community’s needy

Pat Roberts figures she has it pretty good.

“I have a roof over my head and food on my plate,” she says. “I want to share my blessings.”

Roberts, a secretary in Facility Services, was one of an army of volunteers loading gifts for families in need onto a truck parked Thursday in front of Essex Hall. The campus community raised almost $24,000 in donations of cash and gifts, plus boxes of groceries, to help 44 local families through the Adopt-a-Family program of Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society.

Organizer Mary Anne Beaudoin, office manager in public affairs and communications, called it a great turnout.

“There are a lot of ways to contribute to charity at this time of year,” she says. “But this one is special: it brings together colleagues across the campus to chip in and do something worthwhile for the less fortunate in our own community.”

Under the program, faculties, departments and individuals “adopted” families and raised cash or bought items that were requested on their wish lists. Far from extravagant, the lists request such necessities as housewares, clothing and food as well as some toys for the children.

“When you see the sorts of things families put on their lists, you really understand what it means to be in need,” says Beaudoin.