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Throwback Thursday: Giving Back Tradition By: Marlee Sorrells

The holidays bring up a certain spirit where giving back to the community is more important. Students at Hardin-Simmons University have used this time of year to give back to the community since the university was founded.

In 1962, The Brand reported on how students became foster parents for a day while helping underprivileged children in Abilene. They would “adopt” a 6 to 8 year old child to spend the afternoon with, then they would give them a Christmas present. (The Brand (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 48, No. 11, Ed. 1, Friday, Nov. 30, 1962)

In 1999, Hardin-Simmons students worked alongside a relief organization to aid Turkish citizens that had been affected by earthquakes. They sorted through Items like blankets, tents, baby formula, diapers and articles of clothing that were meant to help Turkish people survive the cold winter. (The Brand (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 87, No. 7, Ed. 1, Friday, Nov. 5, 1999)

After Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, students spent a long weekend in Louisiana. While there, they picked up brush, tore down decks and sheds, moved ruined furniture, cleaned the church where they stayed, disposed of sand bags, put together wheelbarrows, babysat and painted. (The Brand (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 93, No. 7, Ed. 1, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2005)

As a part of a neighborhood enhancement initiative in 2006, Hardin-Simmons students worked one on one with children to improve their reading skills. They would lead special reading activities and games once a week. (The Brand (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 95, No. 6, Ed. 1, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2006)

The Turkey Day 5K has been going on for 13 years. While the 5K is over, students can still participate in the winter clothing drives. Boxes are available all over campus. Also, food banks are open for donations and will need more with the coming holidays.


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