December 21, 2010

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UUPers bring holiday cheer


UUPers from Stony Brook to Buffalo are giving back to their communities this holiday season.

Members from chapters across the state have held or are finishing up fundraisers and food drives to benefit organizations and families in their communities who need a helping hand. In Oneonta, Chapter President Bill Simons, left, and member Ho Hon Leung, center, laugh with a church director while volunteering Dec.11 at Saturday’s Bread, a soup kitchen run by a local Methodist church.

At Saturday’s Bread, UUPers prepared, cooked and served hot meals to nearly 100 hungry Oneontans. Chapter members have been volunteering at Saturday’s Bread twice a year since 2004.

"Saturday's Bread provides the Oneonta Chapter with an excellent opportunity to engage in community service this holiday season,” said Simons.

In Cortland, nearly 1,000 faculty, staff and students raised more than $45,000 for the American Cancer Society on Dec. 4 as part of the 6th annual SUNY Cortland Relay for Life. The relay, planned by UUPer Nanette Pasquarello, attracted 76 teams who walked laps for 12 hours in the school’s Lusk Field House.

Here’s how other UUPers have helped out:

•Several Fredonia UUPers worked on “Talk to Santa,” a live campus-produced kids television show that aired on Time Warner Cable in Fredonia and surrounding communities Dec. 14-16.

•At Binghamton, UUP volunteers took part in several holiday drives, including the Hand to Heart Holiday Project, which sent hundreds of gift bags to the local Salvation Army and the Wyoming Conference Children’s Home.

•UBuffalo faculty and staff have raised more than $700,000 through the university’s Employees Campaign for the Community. A Thanksgiving food drive organized by the Buffalo Center Chapter filled a van with canned goods and raised $904 for the Food Bank of Western New York.

•A dozen Buffalo State faculty and students jumped in freezing Lake Erie on Dec. 4 as part of the 2010 WNY Polar Plunge to raise funds for Special Olympics athletes.

•At Stony Brook, chapter members collected non-perishable food items and donated them to a local food pantry for Thanksgiving. The chapter will donate supermarket gift cards to a local food bank and is collecting donated winter clothing and baby goods for needy area families.

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