Residence Gets Involved in Holiday Giving
One of the pillars of the Residence life model is social development. Social development focuses on a student's self-awareness and ability to communicate effectively and relate to others. Residents examine their role within society and take on initiatives that improve the community through demonstrations of social responsibility and leadership.
This past holiday season, Fanshawe College Residence began a toy, cash and food drive as part of their ongoing volunteer and community support initiatives to foster such social development. Proceeds would go to the Children's Aid Society and the London Food Bank, as they did in 2009, when students raised $1000 to support families in need.
Cal Littlejohn, Residence General Manager presents Andrew Holt, Children's Aid Society Communications Director with the cash collected while (R-L) Sarah Gibson, Residence Life Coordinator, Carolyn Mitchell, Assistant General Manager and Meaghan Skinner, Residence Life Coordinator display, the many toys donated.
All students were encouraged to examine their role within society and consider participating in this socially responsible initiative. At one point, a friend of one resident came expressly to donate extra toys to the toy drive. In fact, even residents who faced sanctions under the Code of Conduct were offered an opportunity to get involved - they could purchase toys or make cash donations, in exchange for lower fines. This allowed residents to positively contribute to the community while fulfilling 'alternative sanctions' under the Code, which focuses on promoting personal growth rather than merely enforcing penalties.
"We wanted to encourage them to go out and make the extra effort to buy a toy for a child in the community," said Cal Littlejohn, General Manager of Fanshawe's Residences. "It really is a great feeling to go through the process of looking for a toy and knowing someone will have a better Christmas because of their efforts."
In all, students collected a total of $1825 in toys and cash for the Children's Aid Society and another $200 for the London Food Bank, far surpassing last year's total.
In addition to this effort, Residence participated in a number of other holiday giving opportunities: residents supported the Fanshawe Student Union "Adopt-a-Family" campaign by encouraging recycling and collecting donations at the Front Desk; Resident Advisor Shallis Ryder asked residents to contribute to the Fanshawe College Sharing Shop; and Kellianne Legg, another Resident Advisor, began a year-long fundraiser for the Children's Cancer Ward at Victoria Children's Hospital, collecting cans from residents and returning them for a refund.
"The response has been fantastic," says Littlejohn. "It is always a priority to generate awareness of those less fortunate and the importance of supporting our community."
As the New Year begins, Littlejohn notes that Residence will continue to seek out opportunities for students to contribute to others in meaningful ways.