On Wednesday. January 26, Mount Saint Vincent University (the Mount) celebrated Caritas Day, or “A Day of Caring.” Caritas Day was first originated by the Sisters of Charity and gives students staff and faculty an opportunity to give to each other and to the larger community through volunteerism.
“Social Justice and charitable work is deep rooted in the Mount’s history,” says Peter Mombourquette, Chair of the Department of Business and Tourism. “Caritas Day tradition is an opportunity to increase Mount student interaction with the Sisters as well as with the on and off campus community.”
To support Caritas Day efforts, the Department of Business and Tourism at the Mount partnered with the Sisters of Charity to organize volunteer events for the Mount community.
More than 70 students and a number of staff and faculty participated in a food drive around the surrounding neighborhood to collect donations for the Mount Student Resource Centre, which provides food to students who cannot afford it.
“It is stunning how many students can’t afford food, and not just young students but mature students who are also struggling to support a family,” Mombourquette notes, “The Student Resource Center helps change that.”
More than 85 bags of food were collected for the centre, which is now stocked for the winter months for Mount students.
“It was a tremendous amount of fun, and we literally stuffed the Student Resource Centre,” says Dr. Karen Blotnicky, a Professor in the Department of Business and Tourism who participated in collecting donations. “Everyone was thrilled and the atmosphere was electric as teams of students jumped into faculty members’ cars to work together and canvass the neighbourhood.”
In addition to collecting food, volunteers also joined the Sisters of Charity to make food for local shelters, including Out of the cold Shelter, an emergency drop in centre in the city.
“The event was a great success, we had a wonderful turn out. It is amazing to see so many students working together to give back to other students and the community, says Jill Hagerman, Mount BBA Student, and Special Projects Coordinator for the event. “Not only did we collect an enormous amount of food but the event helped raise awareness for the Food Resource Center on Campus as well as the Out of the cold Shelter.”
Organizers of the event hope to make it annual occassion and an opportunity to bring the Mount community together to give to others, and continue with the tradition first established by the Sisters of Charity.
Pictured above, from left to right: Mount students Olivia Yammine, David Wilson, Jessica Makmillen and Craig MacInnis
To view more photos, visit the Mount flickr site.