Rutgers-Camden Gives Back During Vacation: Rutgers-Camden Campus News

Many holiday charities are supported by faculty, staff and students

Rutgers-Camden students worked together on the RU Warm Project to collect bags of warm clothing for local residents in need, which will be distributed by the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Camden. From left to right, Dawn Garlic, Manager of Volunteer Services at the Kroc Center; Jahmara Smith; Jasmin Wilson; Pamela Maynor, co-administrator and pastor of the Kroc Center; Kyle Martin Jurilla; and Leanne Hall.

December 16, 2021

By Sam Starnes

From classes to clubs to sports teams and beyond, a rich tapestry of faculty, staff and students at Rutgers University in Camden is stepping up this holiday season to support many charitable projects.

“Rutgers-Camden gives back to our surrounding community year round through many civic engagement projects, but during the holidays the true giving spirit on campus is exceptional,” said Rutgers-Camden Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis. “As an anchor institution in the City of Camden, I am delighted to see how generous our campus is during the holiday season to support organizations that do a fantastic job of helping those in need.”

Shining examples of these myriad efforts are the one-semester projects in two sections of an Organizational Behavior course taught by Melissa Fender, a part-time management lecturer at the Rutgers School of Business in Camden. Fender’s 51 students worked in small teams that developed 11 charitable projects for nine nonprofits that resulted in donations at the end of the semester.

Jahmara Smith, a junior marketing major from Camden, says her team partnered up with the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Camden and developed a strategy and organized a variety of events to collect donations of hats, gloves, scarves, coats. , sweaters, shoes and other warm items. clothing for Camden residents in need. The project, dubbed RU Warm, used social media, posted flyers on campus and made announcements in their classrooms to publicize the effort, which raised plenty of warm clothes and over $ 200 in donations.

“It was nice to help my community and it was nice to see people at the Kroc Center,” Smith said. “They were so excited when we handed in the donations. “

Another team in Fender’s classrooms worked with the Kroc Center to collect toys for the centre’s annual toy drive.

“I’ve never had a project as meaningful and active as this one,” says Sasha Shukeylo, junior marketing student at Cherry Hill. “Not only am I doing something great for the kids around Rutgers, but I’m also learning the process behind a toy collection.”

Dawn Garlic, Volunteer Services Manager for The Kroc Center, says the contributions of the Rutgers-Camden groups are of immense help while on vacation.

“Rutgers University in Camden is a blessing to the Salvation Army Kroc Center,” says Garlic. “Student projects have included raising money during our Red Kettle campaign, securing toys for local families, collecting hot items for our neighbors in need and more. “

Melissa Fender

Other organizations and groups that have benefited from the student-led projects of Fender’s classes include Volunteers of America Delaware Valley, Food Bank of South Jersey, Shoes for Your Soul, Cathedral Kitchen, County Pop-Up Library of Camden and organizations helping victims of Hurricane Ida. in New Jersey and Afghan refugees.

“I’m very happy with it,” says Fender, who taught at the School of Business-Camden for seven years and led charitable projects in previous semesters. “It’s much more meaningful to students than just writing an essay. We are able to help people.

Other charitable projects this holiday season on campus are not limited to, but include Rutgers-Camden Athletics, who reached out to student-athletes, coaches and staff who have come together to support the toy drive of the Kroc Center through donations; the Muslim Students Association, which organized a campaign for Afghan refugees; and the Student Wellbeing Advisory Council and Campus Chapter of the American Medical Students Association, two student organizations that have teamed up to organize a fundraiser for the Camden County Women’s Center.

Patrick Wallace, a 2002 Rutgers-Camden alumnus and associate director of the Campus Center and Student Involvement, says these projects and many more have a long tradition on campus.

“Our students and student organizations, from undergraduate to law, as well as our fraternities and sororities, have always played a key role in the campus’s deep commitment to give back and pay forward through donation campaigns, service communities and collaborations with community partners and organizations, especially during the holidays, ”Wallace says.


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