SUNY Cortland’s Residence Life and Housing Office again proved that it’s far better to give than receive through the College’s annual Adopt-a-Family gift-wrapping event, which celebrated its 10th anniversary on Dec. 2.
Student staff members raised nearly $10,000 throughout the fall to “adopt,” or provide presents, for 22 local families in need. Each year when the holiday season approaches, SUNY Cortland students, staff members and alumni come together to wrap the hundreds of gifts that are purchased with student donations.
This year, 120 students gathered at the Lynne Parks ’68 SUNY Cortland Alumni House to put their gift-wrapping skills to use. Each of the College’s 17 residence halls adopted a family, with some larger residence halls taking on more than one set of children. The families, which all include multiple children, were suggested by the Bridges for Kids program run through the Cortland YWCA.
“This is something that Residence Life and Housing does to unite campus and engage the community,” said Rosa Moore, a junior business economics major from Jamaica, N.Y., and one of the co-organizers of the event. “It’s just a very rewarding way to bring students together for a good cause and help the community at the same time.”
Over the course of the fall semester, residence hall staffs raise funds in every way imaginable. Some resident assistants go door-to-door collecting loose change. Others offer up their faces to be hit with a shaving cream pie — in exchange for a small donation from residents.
“When you’re buying and wrapping the gifts, you remember why we do this,” said Courtney Davis, a senior childhood education major from the Bronx, who served as the event’s other co-organizer. “It’s like you imagine the facial expressions of the families you’re helping. That’s what makes it all worth it.”