The Office for Community-Engaged Learning (OCEL) of Slippery Rock University has partnered with the Butler Salvation Army and their Angel tree program to form the Elf Project. This project is designed to provide gifts to children in families that may need help gathering gifts for the holiday season.

OCEL is a very active organization at SRU. The main mission of OCEL is to have students engage with the community in order to provide volunteer work, charity, or helping local fundraisers. From engaging in community service, students learn not only how to become an active community member, but also of their civic identity, and leadership and social skills.

The Elf Project allows for any club or organization to become a part of a great cause. The Elf Project works by providing the different clubs or organizations with the name of a child to be sponsored. That club or organization is then able to spend between $100 and $125 on the sponsored child and buy them presents. After the gifts have been gathered, each club or organization will drop off the gift at the OCEL at their respective time.

This is a wonderful way for any club or organization on-campus to become involved with the community and to help a great cause. It is important for every child to have a wonderful holiday season, and community service opportunities like the Elf Project work to make that goal a reality.

Not only is the Elf Project rewarding to the children sponsored, it is also enriching to those who help make the project possible. Community involvement and service allows for students to grow as an individual and to help create a thriving community. Students love helping in the community, especially when it helps make another person’s day even better.

In total, OCEL has released 35 names of children to be sponsored. In the past, the names have been selected very quickly and with much enthusiasm.

It is important to assist those in need, especially during the season of giving. The OCEL has had much success in the past and is on track for another successful project this year.

The first drop off date was on Nov. 19, but the second drop off date will be on Dec. 4, following Black Friday, which is on Nov. 27 this year.

Brandon is a sophomore digital media production major. This is his first year writing for The Rocket as a campus life contributor. Before he joined The Rocket, Brandon was the Editor for his high school newspaper. In addition to writing for The Rocket, Brandon is the Public Relations Chair of Musical Theatre Society. In his free time, Brandon enjoys watching movies and hiking.

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