OSAO offers ways to give back to those who need it this Christmas season

By Kai O’Brien

CAN YOU feel it in the air, Spartans? The temperatures are dropping fast, which means Christmas is around the corner, and at the Office of Student Activities and Orientation the faculty is hard at work to bring Christmas cheer to campus this year.

The Office of Student Activities and Orientation, better known as OSAO, is the group of people that most influence what happens here on campus. “We oversee all of the student clubs and organizations, as well as the student Senate,” says Tamah Amrom, associate director of student activities and orientation. “We also oversee the orientation processes for new and transferred students.”

Since it is getting into that holly, jolly season, the OSAO is soon going to be holding events for the school to give back to the community. The Giving Tree started at YCP around six years ago, with the intention of providing volunteer opportunities for anyone around the campus.

“The tree will have paper ornaments on it that may say ‘Girl, Age 4, wants a stuffed animal,’ or ‘Boy, Age 10 wants drawing utensils.’ Anyone from YCP, no matter faculty, student, or staff can come and pick a name from the tree and donate,” Amrom says. Since COVID’s introduction into the world, the Giving Tree had to be morphed into an online shopping format, where volunteers can contribute to the organization’s Amazon wishlists. “We are hoping more people come and contribute after Thanksgiving, as last year’s numbers were not as high as we wanted it to be,” Amrom says.

Two students who were interviewed gave their insight on YCP’s community engagement as well as spreading Christmas cheer this season.

“ I always love giving back around this time of year. It makes me happy knowing I’m doing something for a change,” Shannon Swift, a junior nursing student at YCP, says. “And the Giving Tree idea sounds amazing! I don’t think I’ve taken the time to go there yet, but I will definitely see how I can contribute this year!” 

Adds Vaughntay McGraw, a junior studying Environment Sustainability, “I participated in the Giving Tree last year and filled some parts of organizations wishlist. Knowing that I was making someone happy for the holiday season is what matters most to me. Not many people nowadays are looking out for one another.” 

The Giving Tree gives gifts to several organizations every year, but some highlights this holiday season include the Lehman Center, which offers emergency respite care for children aged newborn through 6 years old in a 24-hours crisis nursery, art and child-centered therapy, family advocate services, and parent support groups. It’s located at 400 W. Market St. in York.

Donated gifts to the Lehman Center will be accepted in the OSAO until Dec. 5, at which time they will be delivered to the Lehman Center. The other organization commonly a part of the tree is the Children’s Home of York, located at 77 Shoe House Road. The mission of the Children’s Home of York is to empower children to thrive, strengthen families, and enrich communities. All donations for the Children’s Home are made online to one of three wishes.

Visit the Holiday donation page here to view the details of these online gifts.

If you chose to make a donation, let them know so they can add it to the list from the YCP community. Let’s spread some Christmas cheer this year, Spartans!

OSAO’s activities, of course, go well beyond the Giving Tree. These include almost 100 clubs and organizations for students to be a part of on campus. Its most popular events include BINGO!, spring concert, and many more events you commonly see on fliers throughout campus.

Even through the many disruptions caused by COVID-19, the OSAO was still able to bring you virtual events and fun wherever you were!

Questions? E-mail osao@ycp.edu

Kai O’Brien is a Mass Communications major. He also runs track and field and plays for the club lacrosse team as well. 

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