Saint Mary’s Community Gives Back

The Saint Mary’s College Office for the Common Good (OCG) is taking the stress off of South Bend residents this holiday season. As Christmas draws near, the office has answered the call to support those in need by participating in the annual Adopt-a-Family program. Through the support of faculty, staff, and students, the office ensured 103 people in the local community will have gifts under their tree on Christmas morning.

Rebekah Go “This is the easiest ask ever, everyone on campus wants to help out,” said Rebekah Go, director of the Office for the Common Good. “I know Christmas can get stressful for some families, so this is a great way to give our students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to lend their generosity while fostering a sense of community outside of the College.”

In November and early December, Saint Mary’s rallied 30 groups across campus— academic departments, student clubs, administrative divisions, even friends of the College and individuals—to adopt families through the OCG program. 

The OCG partnered with four local agencies to help select the families with the greatest need then deliver the donated gifts: Salvation Army, Adopt-a-Grandparent, Darden Elementary, and Catholic Charities. Go said in addition to wrapped gifts, the College raised over $1,400 that was converted to gift cards. She added the youngest person to receive a gift is 2 months old and the oldest resides in an area assisted living facility..

Student leaders in the OCG took initiative during their busy weeks leading up to finals to help arrange, sort, wrap, and transport over 300 gifts. Libbey Detcher ’23 was more than willing to step up and help Go deliver the last of the gifts to Catholic Charities.

“I love working for the OCG all year. As one of the co-chairs for SMC Votes, our Adopt-a-Family project was a nice change of pace after the midterm election in November,” said Detcher. “One thing I love about the OCG’s large-scale projects like Adopt-a-Family is the sense of community fostered all across Saint Mary’s campus. It took a lot of organizing from Rebekah, Maria Gonzalez-Diaz (Assistant Director for the OCG), and the student leaders, but would not have been possible without the help of clubs, organizations, and offices that volunteered their efforts and funds to ensure South Bend families were able to preserve the magic of Christmas.”

The Office for the Common Good works year round to connect students and the College with the greater South Bend area. Through service, advocacy, and sustainability, student leaders in the office can be part of groups to get the community involved such as Beyond the Belle, Food Waste Fighters, SMC Votes, the Sustainable Farm, and Explore the Bend.

December 21, 2022


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