Thursday, December 20, 2012

Giving back this holiday season

Giving back to our community has always been important to us -- during the holidays, and all year-round. But this year, we're banding together even closer to help support the families of victims in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Conn., which is located just about 19 miles southwest of our campus.

Two of our employees lost family members, and we mourn with them and all the families who are grieving. We hope you'll join us as we continue to keep the victims' families and friends and our entire country in our thoughts and prayers during this terribly difficult time.

Before the shooting, we had also begun a number of other efforts to support others this holiday season.

IN SERVICE: Our Student Government Association collected
items to support the Army's 10th Expeditionary Signal Battalion
The Student Government Association adopted the U.S. Army's C Company, 10th Expeditionary Signal Battalion stationed in Afghanistan. The team collected a variety of un-opened and unused supplies, including food, holiday decorations, toiletries, and more. They also created holiday cards for the members of the troop, whose Unit Commander is the son of one of our Military Program team members.

The Criminal Justice Club sponsored our 6th Annual "Stuff the Cruiser" event earlier this month, collecting new, unwrapped toy donations for less fortunate children.

The Newman Club gathered donations of baby items for Carolyn's Place in Waterbury. Carolyn's Place provides resources and support to pregnant women and children in need.

Christopher Bandish, who's part of our financial aid team, launched an effort to raise money for Operation ELF, a local adopt-a-family program run by the Connecticut National Guard. Funds are being used to buy items for a needy family of five.

ON DUTY: Students fill a police cruiser with donated toys
The Criminal Justice Club and the Criminal Justice Honor Society collected items for Wellmore Behavioral Health's Holiday Gift List, including electronics, clothing, bath towels, diapers, and more. Wellmore Behavioral Health is a local health center that provides treatment and support services for children, adolescents, adults, and their families.

We're impressed by the outpouring of support we've seen to help Sandy Hook families and others who need extra support right now. Thank you to everyone who has given back to the community. Your efforts are making a tremendous difference to those saddened and in need this holiday season.

If you haven't given back yet, there is still time. Any donation makes a difference in the lives of those in need. Consider how you can give back to your favorite cause or organization, no matter how big or small.

We wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday, and a new year filled with excitement, inspiration, courage, and of course a lifetime of learning.