Posted December 22, 2010 by Sarah-Ann Harnick 

The Season of Giving

You know?  I am just done.  I don’t want to see another donation box.  It’s not the thought; it’s the work involved in getting the donations to the right place.  

Campus Life gets involved in food, clothing, toy, school supplies drives whether or not we are the actual sponsors. We often host drop-off boxes.  We’re always reminding students and publicizing the drives. We advise students why it isn’t a good idea just to put a box in a lobby and hope for the best. It’s all good stuff. Actually, it’s great stuff because I can support Region 3’s annual scholarship via our silent auction and then donate the items to people who need them. Somewhere in Haiti there is a kid with a really cool Princeton University messenger bag.  

 It’s just that from November 8 until December 19 I was surrounded by boxes and bags that had to be ferried from one place to the next.  Nov. 8 was the kick-off date for our division’s 15th annual Gifts from the Heart project. We collect and distribute clothes, toys, games, books, etc to three community-based agencies in Jersey City. The two boxes in our office are never enough. Our office sponsors a coat drive that was supposed to end Dec. 8, but the boxes and bags are still in our office (the NJCares people are so overwhelmed by coats that they can’t keep up).  Yesterday we received three more jackets.  

Meanwhile, my synagogue (shout out to Temple Emanu-El in Edison, N.J.) has a major December program we call Mitzvah (an act of loving kindness) Day. Two boxes and a huge bag of the winter clothing I found abandoned in Campus Life storage sat in my office until last week when I finally made room for them in my car. They joined whatever Mitzvah Day donations I already had placed inside. It felt so good to get everything out of my car Sunday.  Not that the feeling lasted very long; they were replaced by 5 smaller bags of out-of-season or worn-out clothing that we couldn’t pass along to The Clothesline Project in New Brunswick, N.J. Those were deposited into a large donation box.  

Now I can wrap my husband’s Christmas gifts…but I need a box.  

Sarah-Ann Harnick

Sarah-Ann Harnick is the Assistant Director- Campus Life at New Jersey City University.

Sarah Harnick became active in ACUI with her first job in student activities of Rider then-College. After earning her master’s in fine arts from the University of Texas, she relocated to New Jersey and just never left the state. Intrigued by how things work, she accepted an operations position at New Jersey City now-University where she has learned more about elevators, revolving doors, and roof leaks than most people should ever know. The real reason she has stayed in this field is the pure joy of watching students learn and grow.


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