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13 ways Concordians show their generosity

Campus and community charities benefit from the university's holiday spirit
December 9, 2014

Source: University Communications Services

Updated December 22.

Nothing tastes sweeter than helping others in need Nothing tastes sweeter than helping others in need. | Photo by Concordia University

The Fraser Institute
has ranked Quebec as the least charitable province in Canada for the past 16 years. But you'd never know it at Concordia. If the following selection of events is any indication, our university community has been quite generous meeting the needs of students, children and the elderly.

Staff in the International Students Office collected warm clothing to hand out at the Getting Ready for Winter Workshop. Nearly every garment collected was eagerly accepted by 87 international students from warmer climates, who left slightly more equipped to confront wintertime in Quebec. The items collected included:

  • 53 scarfs/ neck warmers
  • 57 coats
  • 30 sweaters
  • 18 pairs of gloves and mittens
  • 36 hats/ear warmers/headbands

The remaining winter clothes were donated to the Aboriginal Student Clothing Swap.

The Office of Community Engagement facilitated the donation of computer equipment to several grassroots community organizations, including Groupe Harmonie, which runs a digital literacy program for seniors in low-income housing units around our downtown campus, Bienvenue à NDG, which facilitates the integration of immigrants in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, and Westhaven Community Centre, which hopes to launch a series of computer workshops for seniors around the Loyola Campus.

The Concordia network raised $6,740 for Movember, an annual campaign in November during which men grow moustaches to raise funds and awareness about men's health issues, including prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems. The John Molson School of Business (JMSB) team raised more than half of the Concordia total.

For the second year running, Hospitality Concordia hosted the Taste of a Good Cause event on November 5. Ten of the university's approved caterers sold samples of their wares. It was a fun opportunity for Concordians to try out some of what’s available. The  $1,232.90 raised will go towards the Student Emergency and Food Fund, which provides food vouchers and emergency funds to students who need it.

The fund, which is run by the Multi-faith Chaplaincy, also benefits from the Tie-a-Ribbon-on-the-Tree campaign. For one week each year, volunteers sell ribbons to decorate the tree in the atrium of the J.W. McConnell Building. This year they raised $313 for hungry students.

Carolers with a Cause have also been supporting the fund by performing concerts and spreading holiday cheer across the Sir George Williams Campus. They've raised $10,000 over the past 10 years and hope to raise another $2,000 this year.

And although the downtown holiday lunch hosted by Hospitality Concordia has already passed, there's still time to give to the fund by attending the Loyola Community holiday lunch on December 16. The deadline to RSVP is December 10.

JMSB teamed up with Human Resources in support of the Montreal Children's Hospital. The Supply Chain Santa/Montreal Children's toy drive was a huge success, and the team ended up packing 500 shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child along with more than 250 toys. "We are very grateful to the many sponsors and the Concordia Community for always being so generous," explains co-organizer Eva Ferrara. "All it takes is good will and a couple of wonderful Concordia elves for miracles to happen."

There's still time to give

Why not finish your gift shopping at the 25th annual Libraries Christmas Auction? On Thursday, December 11, from 12 to 2 p.m. in the J.A. DeSève Cinema (Room LB-125), there will be all kinds of crafts, antiques, jewellery, objets d'art and holiday-themed items to choose from. The proceeds will be split among a number of great local causes:

  • Auberge Madeleine
  • Can Serve Foundation
  • Chez Doris
  • CODE (Canadian Organization for Development through Education)
  • Concordia's Centre for the Arts in Human Development (CAHD)
  • Concordia's Multi-faith Chaplaincy's Student Emergency and Food Fund
  • Concordia's Financial Aid and Awards
  • Dans la Rue
  • The Gazette Christmas Fund
  • Operation Eyesight Universal
  • Sun Youth
  • The Women's Centre of Montreal

UPDATE: As of December 19, the auction raised $5,000 and counting!

Brent Pearce and his undergraduate marketing students
are helping the less fortunate through Christmas 4 A Cause, a charity that accepts all donations of non-perishable food, toys, games, books, clothes, and money (made payable to “Saint Thomas More Parish Christmas Fund”). While you may have missed the December 2 fundraiser at Hurley's Pub, donations are still accepted on the 13th floor of the John Molson School of Business (MB) to the attention of Brent Pearce. For more information, visit their Facebook page.

Do you have unused sports equipment lying around? Stingers basketball player Mukiya Post’s Pass the Ball Foundation has so far made three shipments of new and used sports equipment to underprivileged youth in the Caribbean. For now, his shipments go to Jamaica exclusively, but Post plans to expand his foundation to include other countries as well. As a result, Post was recently awarded the Gildan student athlete leadership award on behalf of the Fondation de l’athlète d’excellence du Québec (FAEQ), presented to a student athlete who has distinguished him- or herself on and off the court through both community service and by being a leader within their team. To make a donation, visit the Pass the Ball Facebook page. Balls, cleats, and jerseys are all accepted.

The Community Campaign, Concordia’s annual internal fundraising appeal, is a great way for faculty and staff to support Concordia and its students this holiday season. Everyone is encouraged to give to the area that is most meaningful to them. Whether you donate to our libraries, athletics programs, faculties, departments or scholarships and bursaries, students will benefit directly from your generosity. Find out more about the campaign.

Last but not least, Concordia’s 40th annual Centraide Campaign officially ends on Friday, December 12. At a recent reception to thank donors and volunteers, campaign chair Bram Freedman (Concordia’s vice-president of Development and External Relations, and Secretary-General) said he expects the university will reach its fundraising goal of $195,000.

The money raised goes to Centraide of Greater Montreal, an umbrella organization which distributes funds to 362 community agencies in the region.

Please give generously this holiday season!

Do you know of other charitable events on campus? Submit them to to be included.

UPDATE on December 19:

Concordia Human Resources, Advancement and Alumni Relations and the School of Extended Learning held in a food drive for Sun Youth emergency food services. Concordia staff and faculty donated 25 boxes filled with 1,182 non-perishable food items and hygiene products to help families or individuals facing difficult situations. Thanks to the generosity of Concordians and other Montrealers, Sun Youth provides help to almost 15,000 individuals in December.

UPDATE on December 22:

Clients of the Campus Retail Stores can get a $30 discount off a Jansport backback when they trade in an old backpack between January 5 and 23, 2015. Where's the generosity? The used backpacks are donated to the Concordia University Student Parents (CUSP) Centre, a resource for students who are concurrently raising a family. Last year, 85 backpacks were donated!


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