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For over 25 years SAMRU has hosted the Season of Caring, a unique program which brings students in need together with members of the MRU community who want to help. The 2013 Season of Caring was no different, with an amazing amount of in-kind donations tipping the scales at over $8,000.
“It is amazing how generous our campus community is” said Peer Support Coordinator Kellie Nixon. Members of the MRU community; students, staff, faculty, and even entire MRU departments offered to help nearly 100 MRU students and their families through the ‘End of Semester Survival’ gift program. An additional 97 students had their ‘wishes’ granted through funds raised from the Season of Caring candy cane sales which took place daily at West Gate.
Recipients included MRU students, their families, and even hard-working service dogs. The program is open to all Mount Royal students, regardless of their culture, belief, or financial status. It’s for anyone who would appreciate a kind gift from a stranger during a very stressful time of year.
Gifts aren’t the only part of the Season of Caring though: “through the Season of Caring food drive, we raised over 1,000 lbs (over 453 kg) of food for the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank” commented Jon Heath-Smith, the Coordinator of SAMRU’s Student Outreach and Safewalk (SOS) team. Volunteers from SAMRU’s SOS team and from MRU’s Transitional Vocational Program has assisted in the Season of Caring for several years now, and Heath-Smith went on to add that over 49 departments throughout MRU assisted in the food drive, along with SAMRU Clubs, The Hub, and other SAMRU areas.
In total nearly 50 volunteers from SAMRU and MRU donated nearly 250 hours to make the Season of Caring 2013 a success.
The Students’ Association would like to thank the campus community and everyone that participated in this annual event. It is thanks to your generosity that so many students and their families were able to enjoy what might otherwise have been a stressful time.
-By Dawn Linnemoller, Editor & Content Coordinator