Helping Hands: SC State’s Executive Leadership Council Spreads Holiday Joy throughout Orangeburg

Friday, December 21, 2012

Each and every day is a day to be thankful for. Every minute of the day you are interacting with people, who may need a little encouragement or just a smile to brighten their day.  Often times, we seem to overlook the small blessings that are right in front of us. The holiday season, is a time when several individuals are writing list of items that they would like to receive for Christmas. While most families are gathering together to sit around a table, laughing and enjoying moments with their families, many individuals are not. This year, SC State’s Office of Student Life and Leadership decided to create memorable moments for families, such as those. They hosted two special events, the Thanksgiving Dinner and the Adopt-A-Child Program and Christmas tree lighting ceremony geared towards uplifting the Orangeburg community. “It was heartwarming to see the students of SC State University devoting their time and energy to serve the community,” said Franklin Pressley, executive leadership coordinator and Greek affairs student liaison.

Instead of assisting a food shelter, Executive Leadership Council established a Thanksgiving Dinner for several adult care centers, such as the Jolley Acres Health Care Center, the Golden Years Adult Day Care, the Samarian House, the Orangeburg Nursing Home, the Morningside Assisted Living and the Connie Maxwell Children’s Home throughout the local area. This is the second year that the event was held at the Bulldog Lounge, on the campus of SC State University. Social organizations, such as the United Voices of Christ, Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., provided assistance by serving the more than 280 people during the event. They assisted by playing games and allowing individuals to share what they were most thankful for. 

For more than 40 years, SC State University Office of Student Life and Leadership have partnered with local children organizations such as OCAB Head Start Program and Connie Maxwell Children’s Home to host their annual Adopt-A-Child Program.  During this holiday season, over 200 children will have presents in their homes due to the support of several student organizations, departments, community organizations and individual faculty, staff and students. The children faces lit up with joy as the United Voices of Christ serenaded them with Christmas carols and while all the bright lights from the Christmas tree filled the room with a glow.  Throughout the event, children and their parents/guardians had the opportunity to take a photo with Dr. Cynthia Warrick, interim president of SC State and Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.  Tyosha Hammonds, interim assistant director of Student Life and Leadership was ecstatic about how the University family came together for a special occasion such as this. “It was a great feeling to see the University’s faculty, staff and students providing Christmas gifts for over 200 children in need,” said Hammonds. “It shows that during these hard times we can come together as a community and support one another throughout the holiday season,” she continued. This year, 213 children were sponsored and presented gifts that appeared on their wish list. Dr. Tamara Hughes, interim vice-president for Student Affairs is delighted that SC State University students are determined and compassionate about giving back to the community in which they live. “Our students strive to give back to the surrounding communities throughout the year through participation in various programs that expand their consciousness and promote social awareness,” said Hughes.

SC State University has been a thriving entity for the Orangeburg Community and the surrounding communities since its establishment in 1896. In 2013, they hope to engage in community efforts by hosting events that create social awareness, such as the March at the Dome, SC State Day at the Capital, collaborate with Connie Maxwell’s Children Home for an Easter Egg Hunt, host a clothing drive, a book drive, and to assist in the Read across America national platform.