Wayland spreads holiday cheer

January 6, 2014

PLAINVIEW -- Wayland Baptist University experienced the true meaning of Christmas in 2013 as administrators, faculty, staff and students at many of Wayland’s campuses took time out of their busy schedules to assist various charities and organizations.

Holiday donations from the campuses benefitted more than 13 organizations, raising in excess of $6,000 in food, supplies and gifts to be donated to those in need. Not all campus projects were assessed a monetary value. Executive Director of Advancement Mike Melcher said it’s nice to see employees giving back to their communities.

“We’re lucky to work for an organization grounded in Christian faith and principles,” Melcher said. “We feel blessed and I know those in our office just wanted to share that blessing. When we started hearing these reports from other offices, it was nice to know that others felt the same way.”

Several groups on the Plainview campus gathered donations for various organizations. The employees in the Offices of Advancement made a monetary donation to Plainview’s Faith in Sharing House, a group that provides food for those in need. The School of Business’ Enactus program (formerly Students in Free Enterprise) has also been collecting food for F.I.S.H. The group is participating in “Let’s Can Hunger,” sponsored by Campbell’s Soup Company. The program will run through February. To date, the student group has collected more than 980 pounds of non-perishable food.

The School of Fine Arts collected toys, books and other items for the Ronald McDonald House in Lubbock. The School also set up a toy/fund drive to help a current student. This was a campus-wide effort that provided enough toys to load an SUV and $400 in cash. Kelli Watson, Administrative Assistant for the School of Fine Arts helped organize the efforts.

“I love the fact that people here think outside the ‘four walls’ of Wayland and want to minister to others,” Watson said. “Wayland is a great place to work.”

The School of Languages and Literature did its part as well as the Spanish Club and Alpha Mu Gamma (foreign language honor society) teamed up to collect and deliver 20 boxes of food to a local church that provides food for those in need.

The Athletics department led an effort to collect gifts for the Santa Red and Blue project that assists needy families in Hale County. The athletics department collected several boxes full of gifts that were distributed through the project.

Wayland’s external campus locations also got into the giving act. Wayland’s Albuquerque campus adopted the Albuquerque Christian Children’s Home orphanage as its project. Staff and students donated money to purchase gifts for the orphans living at the facility. In all, 44 presents were presented to 11 children, including amusement park day passes and movie gift cards, as well as name brand items that were on the children’s wish lists. Campus Executive Director Stephen Smith said the resources were provided by Wayland students, including one family that chose to forgo their personal gift giving to purchase high-dollar items for the orphans, including a young lady who was recently accepted to college.

The campus in Anchorage, AK., conducted several projects. Volunteers served holiday meals at the local Mission Gospel. The Society for Human Resource Management student chapter collected items for “Beanie Boxes,” supporting Beans Café, the local homeless shelter. Approximately 80 cubic feet of items from toothpaste to toys and gift cards filled more than 50 boxes donated to the shelter. The campus also collected nearly 50 coats and blankets, and donated enough Christmas presents to Alaska Family Services to provide approximately 10 gifts each to 14 children living at a boys and girls home.

The Altus campus participated in Operation Christmas Child, collecting 26 boxes of items to benefit Samaritan’s Purse. WBU-Hawaii also collected items for Operation Christmas Child, donating 21 shoe boxes full of toys, clothes, amenities and school supplies, and the Amarillo campus took donations for the High Plains Food Bank, collecting $250 from students and staff.

In San Antonio, the School of Nursing donated about 100 pounds of green beans to the 34th Annual Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Green Bean Drive. The group also collected shirts, socks, books and cookies to benefit Haven of Hope, a group dedicated to helping children. The School of Nursing sponsored 50 children through the program. Students also contributed to Angel Tree, collecting approximately $400 worth of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, socks and blankets that were delivered to the volunteer council for patients at the San Antonio State Hospital.

The San Antonio campus also served as both collection and distribution point for an annual holiday food drive in conjunction with Converse Baptist Church and the San Antonio Food Bank. The efforts resulted in enough food to feed more than 50 families.