College shows community commitment over the holidays

Dr. Brad Case

Dr. Brad Case is shown outside of the department of small animal clinical sciences, where gold stars with the names and wishes of needy children are displayed each year, and claimed by anyone who wishes to contribute to the “Wish Upon a Star” holiday toy drive.

For several years, the UFCVM has contributed to the community in important ways over the holiday season. Two key programs continued to be successful this year, both in levels of giving and in the enthusiasm reflected in participation by faculty, staff and students.

Staff from our department of small animal clinical sciences, or SACS, with ongoing support and advocacy from Dr. Brad Case, an associate professor of small animal surgery, organize a holiday toy drive offered through the Partnership for Strong Families. Faculty and staff can claim a yellow star to purchase toys through a wish list for children who have experienced abuse or neglect.

At left is Case, shown by the SACS bulletin board recently, before all 75 of the yellow stars were claimed … days ahead of the Dec. 2 deadline.

“I got involved soon after I came here, around 2012,” said Case, an associate professor of small animal surgery, noting that a different group was working with the college at that time. “I want to thank the wonderful SACS office employees for all of their hard work and dedication to this effort. Once again, they have done an exceptional job organizing this effort.”

The drive benefits children who have experienced abuse or neglect.

Gifts for the program at one time were brought to the college, wrapped and delivered to the agency that provided them to the needy families. Now, gifts are purchased from Amazon.com and are delivered directly to the facility. Every year in early November, SACS administrative assistant Barbara Dupont and her team place stars made of yellow paper on the department’s bulletin board, with a sign-up sheet and stars with the childrens’ name, age and gift wish list. This year there were 75 stars, and all were claimed days before the Dec. 2 deadline.

Wish lists are created on Amazon, and each star contains a web link to access the list. Participants then are able to look for the item described on the front of their star, and purchase it via their Amazon account.

Food bank drivers after first pick-up.

Drivers from the Bread of the Mighty Food Bank are shown after their first food pick-up at the college.

Another very successful effort has been the college’s annual holiday food drive, held to benefit the local Bread of the Mighty Food Bank. The college’s efforts have resulted in being named to the “Top 10” local holiday food drives. Each  year, bins are placed throughout the college, and bank serves as a distribution point to serve several areas near Gainesville.

As of Dec. 6, 1,114 pounds of food had been collected, or the equivalent of 928 means to the food insecure in our community. That was only 32 pounds shy breaking the college’s eight-year record. Stay tuned for our next update!

 

 

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