BJU students give back, reach out to community this Christmas season


KC Alamer takes a note card down from the Christmas tree in The Den as part of the Giving Tree Project. Photo: Holly Diller

Focusing on others during the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season can easily slip to the bottom of your priority list amid the rush of final exams, project deadlines and last-minute cram sessions.

But remember that the season of exams, parties, food, friends and family is also the season of giving. And you can find two opportunities to give back right here on campus: the Giving Tree Project and a Christmas party for children with disabilities.          

The Giving Tree Project

Returning for its second year, the Giving Tree Project places bright and welcoming Christmas trees in the Dixon-McKenzie Dining Common lobby and The Den. The trees are filled with note cards that have gift ideas written on them. Students are invited to take a note card, buy the appropriate gift and return it wrapped and labeled for a child to open on Christmas.

Carol Anne Matthews, women’s student body president, says she’s excited to continue this budding Christmas tradition. “The purpose of this project is to give underprivileged children in the Greenville area a better Christmas,” Matthews said.

The Giving Tree Project will close Dec. 6.                                    

CSC Christmas Party           

For the first time, members of the CSC will host a festive Christmas party for children with disabilities in the Riley Room immediately following the Lighting Ceremony tonight from approximately 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Josh Powell, CSC special needs representative, has connected with the Special Olympics organization and Camp Spearhead to advertise the event. Powell estimates the event will host 40 to 50 people, including children and their families.

Along with hot cocoa and cookies, the children will enjoy Christmas-themed activities, including Christmas card coloring and photo booth fun.

Powell hopes this Christmas party will become an annual event on the BJU campus because it promotes a healthy view of children who have disabilities.

“Disabilities do not define these children,” Powell said. “My dream is to broaden the horizons of those who do not have disabilities and help show them how they can better connect with those who do.”

Powell hopes this event will show volunteers that they can relate to people who are different from them. “The purpose is to get people who don’t have disabilities more comfortable with people who do have disabilities,” Powell said. “Students, faculty and anyone who wants to join are welcome to participate.”