May 19, 2024

            Reindeer candy bags for local food banks, bookmarks for Springfield’s literacy center, letters of thanks for soldiers and veterans—all were part of Wittenberg’s first annual Night of Giving on Wednesday, Dec. 4.

            The event, sponsored by Common Ground, was held in Geil Lounge of the Student Center and presented Wittenberg students with the opportunity to participate in a variety of feel-good service activities.

            A few of the other activities included: Panhellenic Council’s activity of writing thank-you letters to Post 95, CDR, and Wittenberg cleaning workers, Common Ground’s activity of making memory aid beads for those in nursing homes, and Class of 2014’s activity of traveling “Pay it Forward” bracelets.

            “We just wanted anyone to be able to come and take part in some form of giving without having to bring anything physical, such as money,” said Melissa Miller, president of Common Ground.

            Each different activity was hosted by a different student organization. Organizations present included Alpha Delta Pi, Class of 2015, Class of 2014, Common Ground, Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Habitat for Humanity, History Club, Kappa Delta, Newman Club, Panhellenic Council, Wittenberg Art League, Weaver Chapel Association, and WUSO.

            The Imani Gospel Choir also came to sing Christmas carols.

            “It was a fabulous evening filled with joyous times,” said Erin Hord, freshman. “It was neat to see all of the different organizations come together and give to people.”

Miller said that in the future she would like to see this event include even more student-run organizations.  This year, she reported, there was an issue with getting the word out to all the student organization presidents.

            “Of course we would need a bigger space to host the event if we had more organizations participate, but I think that is a good problem to have,” said Miller. “Even this year, the organizations brought so much energy.”

            Although the Night of Giving idea was introduced at a Common Ground Meeting last school year, the actual planning for the event began in early September of this year.

 Common Ground then formed a committee to help organize the event, book the lounge, contact student organizations, and get the word out to students.

            With other events that Common Ground has hosted, such as the Hayride Barn Dance in November and the Root Beer Float Party in September, the event filled their calendar for December.

            “It was cool that the event was around the holiday season, but honestly we could have probably had it anytime, because Wittenberg students would have come, no matter what time of the year,” said Miller.  

            Overall, Miller said that the event was a success, and even though she is a senior this year, she hopes to see it carried out again in future years.

            “It was awesome to see the event, aimed at charity and giving, be such a success,” said Miller. “It truly speaks to the people who go to Witt: those who are willing to pass their light on.”

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