AACC full of giving this holiday season


Unsplash photo by Drew Coffman

Students, faculty and staff at AACC participate in drives and charity events to help the needy during the holiday season.

Amber Nathan, Editor-in-Chief

AACC faculty, staff and students are collecting food and raising money for students and the community this holiday season.

This year, charity events included food drives and fundraisers.

“One of the things I love about AACC is that there is such a culture here of giving,” Tresa Ballard, coordinator for the Sarbanes Center for Public and Community Service, said. “Students, staff [and] faculty … take every opportunity to kind of organize themselves to give back.”

In November, the Community Service Committee of staff, faculty and administrators hosted a food drive to gather items for the on-campus food pantries at Arnold, Glen Burnie Town Center and the Military/Veteran Resource Center.

The student Human Services Club collected winter clothing for the homeless.

The Ambassadors Campus Team collected food items for The Lighthouse Homeless Prevention Support Center in Annapolis and care package items for Operation Gratitude, which helps deployed troops and veterans.

“This is something that they love to do,” Heather McFarland, coordinator for campus information and visitor services, who oversees the Ambassadors, said. “We normally try to do a collection of some kind … something that brings awareness to the community.”

The Student Government Association held a Gift of Education Raffle and set the proceeds aside for charity. The raffle prize was one, three-credit class paid for by the SGA.

“Part of our objectives as the SGA is to be … a liaison for community service,” SGA President Mitchell Santos said. “I thought it was fitting that we … did a charity event.”

The Department of Public Safety and Police began collecting for Toys for Tots in November and will continue through Dec. 18. Toys can be dropped off in the Central Services Building.

Other charity events will start in December.

For Giving Tuesday on Dec. 3, the AACC Foundation will raise funds for the HelpLink program, which gives short-term financial relief for students in an emergency.

On Dec. 6, faculty will host a Makers Market to sell their crafts. Crafters will donate items to raffle off.

Proceeds from the raffles will go to the food pantry.

“Any time that … staff and faculty are getting together, I think that we always try to think of what we can do for the students,” Trish Eyerly, an organizer of the Makers Market, said. “And around the holidays, it could be much needed.”

Students said they appreciate the holiday charity efforts at AACC.

McKenzie Maynard, a third-year transfer studies student, said, “I think it’s great. I know there’s a lot of people in need.”

Leane Balbuena, a second-year transfer studies student, agreed.

“I think they’re … important because … I feel like it’s a good way to give back to [the] community,” Balbuena said.