Hart School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management

Warm a Winter Wish initiative helps local families in need

Students with wrapped gifts

Pictured (above): Students with wrapped gifts

This past holiday season, ten students enrolled in the Sport and Recreation Leadership program in the campus recreation concentration took on the charge of planning a UREC program called Warm A Winter Wish, despite the challenges of social distancing. 

This year, the annual event lent support to First Step, Mercy House, and Brain Injury Connections of the Shenandoah Valley. The students would normally gather wish lists from individuals and families served by these agencies, and place them on a tree inside of UREC for students, faculty and staff to fulfill, then throw a big wrapping party to label and organize the gifts and deliver them to the agencies for distribution.

The UREC graduate assistant team did a major pivot due to Covid-restrictions and came up with a creative solution to provide the much-needed support. Since students, faculty and staff were not on campus in November and December when the event normally takes place, the team came up with the idea to create and market an online option through Amazon for those giving the gifts.

The results amazed the team members. This is the first year that all of the wishes were fulfilled, so they developed a system to have UREC student workers to help wrap the gifts while they were on their work shifts. 

The project provided a great service to First Step, Mercy House and Brain Injury Connections of the Shenandoah Valley with almost 400 gifts handed out to over 100 individuals and almost 60 families.

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Published: Monday, May 17, 2021

Last Updated: Monday, May 17, 2021

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