The holiday season is a time for communities to come together, celebrate and cherish their good fortune. For Erie Community College's community, it's a time to lift up fellow students - those pursuing a better future one class at a time.
Between Dec. 6-13, ECC administration, faculty and students are collaborating to collect and package offerings throughout their three campuses for their annual President's Holiday Food Drive. The student-led collection of nonperishable food items and/or gift cards - which is now in its sixth year - will aid more than 50 families within the college's community, comprised of working students and their families who need an extra hand this holiday season.
ECC President Jack Quinn and his staff have organized these efforts every year since he arrived at ECC in 2008. Quinn said it's an effort that's indicative of the altruism evident throughout the community college's campuses.
"This drive is a true reflection of the holiday hearts within our classrooms," he said. "We have students giving what they can to help their fellow students. That's school spirit, and it's alive and well around here all year, but especially at this time of year."
Donations have been forthcoming since Thanksgiving. After the final offerings are collected at the college's North Campus Dec. 12, goods will be packaged and distributed to families through ECC's student services office before Christmas. And, since 2010, ECC's Student Government Association has teamed a separate toy drive with the president's office drive to form a collective initiative even more able to aid ECC students fraught with economic hardships.
"The selfless nature of our college's community has never ceased to amaze me," Quinn said. "I'm not only thankful, but humbled to be a part of it."