News

Westfield State University makes impact through holiday donation efforts

Westfield—Westfield State University has made a significant impact this holiday season through several organized community service efforts to benefit those less fortunate. Below is a recap of some of the endeavors.

“Pitch In” clothing drive secures 400 bags to benefit disaster victims
Inspired by the devastation of recent natural disasters, the Westfield State University softball team collected clothing for those affected in response to a local plea for assistance. Titled “Pitch In” more than 400 bags and 3,200 lbs. of items were collected and delivered to Savers in West Springfield for distribution to victims of natural disasters.

Two hundred eleven Thanksgiving turkeys secured for local families in need
During the Student Government Association’s annual Turkey Drive, $3,308 was raised through the generosity of the Westfield State University community, enabling 211 turkeys to be purchased for families in need prior to Thanksgiving. Westfield State’s Dining Services donated four turkeys and the Department of Campus Safety helped transport turkeys purchased from Big Y to the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Westfield.

Twenty blankets for New Beginnings shelter
Members of the Campus Activities Board made 20 blankets on November 30, which were donated to the New Beginnings women’s shelter at the Westfield YWCA.

Seventy welcome packages assembled for families from Puerto Rico coming to Holyoke
The Westfield State community donated winter clothing, toiletries and money during the first two weeks of November to support families arriving in Holyoke who were displaced from Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. Enlace de Familias collected 70 welcome packages, which were assembled by student members of the Latino Association For Empowerment, and distributed them to the families.

Twenty-nine local disadvantaged children supported through 13th annual Secret Santa
Twenty-nine local disadvantaged children will receive gifts from “Santa” as a result of the 13th annual Secret Santa event organized by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. The children from three local schools (Abner Gibbs, Franklin Ave Elementary, and Highland Elementary) were chosen through the University’s Volunteers in Public Schools of Westfield. Westfield State Student-Athletes donated a best-ever total in excess of $1,300 to purchase nearly 100 gifts, which will be delivered to the schools and distributed to the parents to provide a special Christmas for the children. The Secret Santa program was started by Betty Dely’08, who pioneered the project after attending an NCAA leadership conference.

Breakfast with Santa delights 200 children and families
The 34th annual Breakfast with Santa event at Westfield State delighted 200 children and their families on December 2. Attendees enjoyed a full breakfast buffet, with face painting, a gift for each child, a raffle, photos with Santa and entertainment by the Melha clowns from Shriners Hospital. Proceeds from the event benefitted local senior citizen home visits, the New England Pediatric Trauma Institute (Boston and Hartford) and the Paul Newman “Hole in the Wall Gang” organization, which sponsors terminally ill children for summer camp.

“Stuff-A-Cruiser” event held for 17th year; benefits New Beginnings shelters
In its 17th year of operation, Campus Safety/University Police sponsored a toy/clothing drive on December 12 to benefit New Beginnings shelters for victims of domestic violence, under the auspices of the Springfield YWCA. Each year, approximately $4,500 worth in toys, cash donations and other items are collected and donated by Westfield State.