SAMRU enters 31 years of Season of Caring program
By Nathan Woolridge, News Editor
SAMRU’s Season of Caring is entering its 31st year of serving Mount Royal students. The program runs through November and December to support students in need throughout what can be a difficult time in the academic year.
In a statement SAMRU says that this comes at a “time of year that is typically difficult for students as loans come up short, workloads increase and financial stresses run high.”
The Season of Caring initiative involves a hamper program, where hampers are filled with things off the wish lists of students who applied. Then, faculty, other students and members of the community gift the students things on their wish list.
Season of Caring relies on the MRU community and external donors. Volunteers “put in considerable time and work to make Season of Caring a success each year.”
Miho Ichinoseki, peer support coordinator, says that it is especially important to give back to students during a really stressful time.
Ichinoseki says on their wish-lists, students often ask for basic needs like grocery gift cards, winter boots, gloves and other things. But, she says it is also important that they get something fun to help relieve some stress.
When gifting “You have to do something for their family members to show appreciation. It’s nice to have this program so that they feel like they’re cared for,” says Ichinoseki.
Ichinoseki says that for the families of students, they usually like to recieve something that they can enjoy together, like a board game.
Last year, the Season of Caring program had 66 applicants and 71 donors. The wish lists are written on paper mittens. In 2017, there were 251 mittens filled out with 132 mittens taken for people to fulfill wish lists.
Gift Hamper applications started on Nov. 1 and are being accepted until Nov. 30. The deadline for donors to drop off the gifts is Dec. 10. Students who apply will be able to pick up their hampers from Dec. 12 to 19.
You can find representatives at a Season of Caring table at West Gate until the end of November.