Assumption Students Provide Holiday Cheer for Local Children in Need

Jan 20, 2021

With millions suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the holiday season presented greater hardships for those who rely on the support from charitable nonprofit organizations. Knowing the impact the pandemic has taken on the local community, and the inability of nonprofits to hold their annual fundraisers and collection drives due to safety protocols, members of Assumption’s Student Government Association (SGA) reinvented Assumption’s annual giving tree collection in order to brighten the lives of others. 

“We knew that the giving tree was not going to be able to take place because of COVID, so I wanted to make sure that some type of fundraiser and donation event happened in its place,” said Julia Jacobsen ’22, senator for the Class of 2022 and head of SGA’s event planning committee.  “Many people have struggled from the pandemic and I just wanted to help some families because around the holidays can be a tough time financially.”

Each Christmas, the Office of Student Activities (OSA) appeals to the campus community to purchase Christmas gifts for children at the Guild of St. Agnes in Worcester. This year, because the fundraiser could not happen as usual in order to follow COVID-19 guidelines, OSA decided not to hold the event. That’s when Jacobsen and SGA stepped in and developed a website where students could purchase raffle tickets to win prizes from local restaurants, with the proceeds benefitting the Guild of St. Agnes. Through a social media strategy development by the students, SGA raised critically needed funds which were given to the Guild of St. Agnes to purchase gifts for its children. 

“This contribution meant the world to us, especially during such a difficult year for us all,” said Nicole Martin ’99, manager of school age programs at the Guild of St. Agnes, who currently oversees three remote learning programs totaling about 125 children during a school year that has been like no other. “We are VERY thankful for the help!” 

The giving tree event was part of SGA’s inaugural Charity Week, which Jacobsen and Elizabeth Owen ’21, SGA’s vice president of student affairs, put together in an effort to give back to the community in some way, as students were unable to volunteer for the annual Assumption Loves Worcester Day or the citywide Working for Worcester event, among others.  

“We only had one event during Charity Week this year, which was the fundraiser,” said Jacobsen. “We called it Charity Week as the Assumption community had a week to make donations to the giving tree.”