By: Max Creager ~Staff Writer~
Xavier, in association with Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services, is starting its annual Holiday Project to bring the holiday gifts to families in the local community. The Xavier community has participated in the Holiday Program for more than a decade and has been serving hundreds of families in the Cincinnati area.
Werner Erhard started the Holiday Project in 1978, and within six years it had reached 46 cities and contracted more than 18,000 participants. Since then, the project has spread across the country and continues to provide gifts to families, hospitals and nursing homes.
“The real gifts you give are the love and joy you express, the relatedness you share as ‘family’ and the place you come from that each of us matters in the world. It’s clear that we are in partnership in creating the world working. Your graciousness and humanity are inspiring,” Werner said to graduates participating during the early project.
The Xavier community has continued this tradition with more than 15 independent institutions participating annually, including the Xavier police, Residence Life, the Alumni Center, Physical plant and many others. Xavier works with local social worker Holly Britton to find families in need of gifts and other necessities.
The project is run by the Alumni Center through Marsha Losito, the administrative assistant for Alumni Relations and the Annual Fund. She is responsible for organizing the connection between the Xavier community and the families involved in the Holiday Project.
“The social worker picks up the gifts here and they give them to the family. We have everything wrapped. It’s a worthwhile project I love doing it, especially the shopping part. We always have snacks for the gift wrappers and last year we had a lot of gifts. We had a lot of fun,” Losito said.
This year the Xavier community has already taken gifts for 18 local families. The Holiday Project works by the donor picking a preferred family size and signing up online to shop and wrap gifts for the family in need. Details about getting involved can be found at http://www. xavier.edu/insidexavier/holidayproject/ index.cfm