- May 22, 2012
- 12:01 am
- Rianne Coale
Hillel leads care pack project
Fifty-five care packages were boxed up and mailed to a U.S. Army Infantry unit thanks to a partnership between Hillel at Loyola, the Armed Forces Club (AFC), Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE), and the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC). This campus-wide project to send care packages to soldiers followed a visit from Israeli soldiers to Loyola earlier in the spring semester.
Patti Ray, Loyola’s Hillel director, helped her students organize the service project, bringing it from an idea that was sparked from the Ethics of the Israeli Army program, to a reality that involved much more than just Hillel and the Armed Forces Club.
“There was a tremendous amount of support from not only students outside of Hillel, but other organizations as well. Hillel at Loyola, the Armed Forces Club, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and the Student Athletic Advisory Council were the four groups who helped organize how to make this project happen,” says Ray.
During the week of April 15, students from Hillel, AFC, and SAE sat at a table in CFSU passing out flyers with a list of materials they needed for the care packages. Boxes sat by the tables, constantly being filled by Loyola students with the goods needed for the project. Members of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee were not able to sit at the tables due to games that were scheduled that week, but largely helped out in a different way.
“The SAAC advertised full page ads in The Phoenix that at the volleyball game that week, they would be collecting materials for the care packages,” Ray says. “When we did the final packing, the Student Athletic Advisory Committee came with two boxes that they collected from the game.”
Students from all the sponsoring groups came together and assembled the packages, each weighing roughly five pounds, putting in assorted items including socks, toiletries, snack food, power drinks, and magazines. They sent these carefully packed cartons to a Jewish soldier from Chicago, David Schiller, a graduate of Akiba-Schechter Day School. Samuel Israel, a freshman member of Hillel, recalls the assembly line packing experience.
“It was fun low-key event, and I enjoyed it a lot,” says Sam. “It helped me get to know other members of Hillel and helped me communicate with members outside of Hillel to put on the event.”
Included in each care package was a letter written by the Armed Forces Club and signed by all the leaders of the groups that helped out. The letter included a statement on how “the project reflected the diversity of the men and women of the Armed Forces,” in addition to, thanking and honoring the soldiers for their service and commitment to us all. The packages were sent on the last day of school and just recently were received by the infantry unit. All of the organizations involved are excited to team up again next semester and work in collaboration on other service projects.
“This project captured the imagination of the campus community, and it was inspiring to see how many people contributed to the cause,” Ray concludes.
Another event that Hillel spearheaded was decorating the Lake Shore Campus with Israeli flags to celebrate Israel’s 64th Independence Day. The holiday fell outside the norm this year at the end of the spring semester rather than the middle and also fell on the day that The Dalai Lama was visiting. Flags waved triumphant in the 8th floor windows of Mundelein, where Hillel is located, and some members showed off their celebratory spirit by wearing the Israeli flag as capes for the entire day. More than 100 students, faculty, and staff flowed in and out of Hillel at Loyola, enjoying cake, falafel sandwiches, and a craft table.
Lastly, there will be a formal celebration of Hillel at Loyola’s 25th anniversary on Sunday, June 24, from 2-5 p.m., in the Simpson Multipurpose room. It’s hosted by Hillel at Loyola and the Office of Alumni Relations. For more information about the Hillel at Loyola 25th Anniversary Reunion, please contact Patti Ray, Hillel director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.