This past week, UNH held several events as a part of their I Believe in UNH campaign. There was Giving Tuesday on (take a guess) Tuesday, the Say Something Nice event on Wednesday, and the Wildcat Acts of Kindness Challenge on Thursday. All of these events were giving back to the community either through gifts, words, or just being nice. Now that these events are over, though, that doesn’t mean that we need to stop giving back. Here are some ideas of ways you can continue the UNH Cares spirit during this holiday season.
UNH Wildcat Toy Drive
The Wildcat Toy Drive and Wildcat Santa have been a UNH tradition since the 1990s. While there were two main collections going on at the UNH vs BC hockey game and at the Holiday Skate Party, you can donate throughout the month of December at designated locations. These toys go to families who may not qualify for help from other organizations and are often members of our own UNH community. Desired donations include unwrapped toys for children and teens and cash.
Operation Hat Trick at UNH
So this is an idea that I’m using in my family’s grab bag/ gift exchange (Have you ever had to try and buy gifts for 45 people? Now that’s a challenge!). Operation Hat Trick is an organization that was founded at the University of New Hampshire and raises money through hat sales for organizations such as the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the Wounded Warrior Bonfire Project, UNH’s Northeast Passage, and more. By buying an OHT hat, you can directly give back to veterans while also showing some UNH spirit.
The Freedom Café
This café has become a Wildcat favorite since it first opened in February 2013. Located right behind the Lower Quad, it is easy to get to and inexpensive. Really. You can decided how much you want to pay. They’ll give you a recommended amount but in the end it is up to you. The more you pay, the more you give at the Freedom Café though. This non-profit coffee shop uses its proceeds towards ending human trafficking and the commercial exploitation of all people. Stop by for a coffee during finals week (maybe during open mic night on Wednesday) or buy that last minute gift in the form of a Fairtrade chocolate bar or tin of loose leaf tea.
Give to UNH
Another option for gift giving is to give back to the University of New Hampshire through a number of funds and scholarships. These gifts help give back to the students and, for many, make it so that they are able to come and do what they love at UNH. So while Giving Tuesday may have passed, you can still be a part of the pride and show that you believe in UNH.
Random Acts of Kindness
While the challenge may be over, the kindness doesn’t have to be. Continue to spread the Wildcat love and keep going with the random acts of kindness. Leave some chocolate at your floormates’ doors to help them get through finals. Pass around a note of encouragement or positivity. Host a holiday movie marathon before finals. Do something small to help make the biggest impact on someone’s day or week!
Sometimes giving just the smallest thing– a note or words of encouragement, can make all the difference this time of year.