Giving As a Form of Living

Originally published in the December 2009 issue of The Gothic Times

New Jersey City University, Jersey City, New Jersey–When familiar carols resonate in shopping malls, wintry sweaters pervade every social gathering, and holiday leftovers occupy entire refrigerators, ’tis certainly the season to be jolly, and for most members of the NJCU community, the holiday season is marked by a resurgence of goodwill towards humanity.

“The holidays are a time to give without remembering and receive without forgetting,” said Robert Quinones, Assistant Director of the Office of Campus Life at New Jersey City University.

When the homeless freeze along busy highways, children are deprived of adequate clothing, and refrigerators don’t work because the electricity bill wasn’t paid, it is certainly a time for those who have to remember those who lack. In response to this need, many clubs at NJCU have partnered with philanthropic organizations to host a variety of charitable outreaches and campaigns.

“It [the holiday season] is also a time of giving. That’s why we get bonuses, so we can give back to our communities,” reasoned senior Nastassja Torres, 23, an Economics, Finance and English major from Bayonne.

On Thanksgiving Eve, the Salvation Army of Jersey City hosted its annual community dinner in which NJCU students and other volunteers served hot and tasty meals to droves of Jersey City residents.

Throughout the month of November, The Center for Community Service and Volunteerism (CCSV) spearheaded a canned-food drive, the collections of which were given to the Salvation Army to distribute at their dinner; CCSV also collected frozen turkeys, giving them to the disadvantaged.

In partnership with Jersey Cares, a non-profit affiliate of the Hands on Network, NJCU clubs and organizations will also collect unsullied winter coats for the third annual Operation Warm Coat Drive. Coats may be brought to the Office of Campus Life, Monday through Friday, between 9:00 am and 7:00 pm until December 15.

The ensuing winter break will provide NJCU students with much needed R & R (rest and relaxation) from a hectic semester filled with onerous homework, punishing exams, and tiring term papers. As families reunite with their college pupils, it’s important to remember that the human race is one huge family, which should care for its members, especially in times of need.

NJCU volunteers have stretched out hands of compassion and will continue to do so throughout the year, with outreaches such as Habitat for Humanity and Hudson Cradle. For some, volunteerism is a day-to-day lifestyle; they’ve realized that there are a great number of Americans in need of assistance and have chosen to devote ample time to helping them. Whatever one does for a living, and whatever activities are lined up for winter break, the holiday season is a timely reminder to self-reflect on one’s selflessness.

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