December 08, 2023

Recent Collaboration Leads to Larger Care Package Effort Heading into Winter Holiday Break

A number of units within the Department of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging are once again teaming up to offer care packages, following an effort last month to provide supplies to students who stayed on campus for the November holiday break.

From that effort, it became apparent to the units that there was a larger need than what was initially anticipated. With the formal end of semester and winter break coming up in just over a week, Women*s Student Services (WSS) is now collaborating with the Student Parent Resource Center (SPRC), Neighborhood Student Success Center (NSCC) and Residence Hall Association (RHA) to offer even more care packages. Students can register here and pick-up is on Friday, Dec. 15 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Student Services Building, Room 110. 

First come, first served and amounts are limited. For those unable to make the main pickup window, more emails will be sent to registrants on additional dates, times, and locations. Packages include food items and a resource guide that informs students on where/how to find additional items while the university is closed.

To help support the effort, RHA joined the three student-facing units to provide additional funding towards supplies. The driving factor of course being to help meet students’ basic needs once the university closes for the winter break. Several hundred care packages will now be offered in this second round, more than doubling the amount of care packages given away several weeks ago. 

While the university closes for several weeks from mid-December to early January, international students and those living off-campus may not necessarily have the means or desire to leave East Lansing. Lacking appropriate resources or not having a safe, supportive home to retreat to are some real reasons students may stay in town. With the university closed, that means the dining and residence halls close as well. Once again, the care packages are intended to help students get through the break until the university reopens.

Last November, the response was quick and wide, showing the depth of need. Within the first day of registration, 48 students registered for 50 initial care packages. Sharron Reed-Davis, WSS Program Coordinator, and Maren Nicolaysen, WSS community engagement intern, led the initial effort to pool the offices’ collaborative resources so that close to 90 students were able to receive care packages. Meanwhile and coincidentally, the Student Parent Resource Center was also giving away care packages, working with a local food bank and organic farm.

Seeing how much need was out there, they soon looked beyond November at winter break and wanted to produce another round of care packages. The two initiatives are now one in the hopes that they can provide care packages for even more students this winter holiday break. 

We thank all the collaborating offices and volunteers who are making such an impactful contribution this holiday season.

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