Dec. 4 was the 3rd annual Winter Wonderland held at Radford University. Hosted by the Residence Hall Association, different fraternities, sororities and clubs volunteered to participate in the event.
The main purpose of the occasion was for organizations to contribute in helping out children with clothes and toys for the holiday season, as well as provide a place for families to get into the holiday spirit.
“I think it’s great that the community offers programs like this. Some families can barely afford to buy their children clothes, and it’s amazing just to see a kid’s smile whether they’re opening a gift or interacting with other kids their age. It also shows that, through the good times and the bad, there are people out there who are willing to help,” said Emma Bennett, President of House of the Midnight Watch.
Before the event, organizations pitched in to sponsor a child or children by buying them things such as clothes and toys that they may not have been able to receive otherwise.
“We received an e-mail from RHA asking if we would be interested in sponsoring an unprivileged kid by buying some presents for him— we were excited to help and be part of their Winter Wonderland event. Giving back to the community is one of the commitments La Sociedad Hispanica stands for. We’ll definitely sign up for next year’s Winter Wonderland event,” said William Chavez, Vice President of LSH.
Presents were wrapped and brought into Peters Hall Gym and set by the Christmas tree. The room was lined with tables from different organizations that hosted small activities for children such as crafts and coloring. Food was also available for the community as well as volunteers. The gym had decorated tables for people to sit and eat, as well as an area for gift opening near the tree. Kids were able to sit with Santa, take pictures and share their Christmas wishes.
The English Club provided children with a story reading on How the Grinch Stole Christmas, while the American Sign Language Club entertained the crowd with music and signing.
“I thought what RHA did was amazing and the looks on those children’s faces were priceless,” said Courtney Dickerson, English Club Social Chair.
Children were able to sit and open gifts with their families and sponsors while enjoying popcorn, cupcakes and cotton candy made at the event. Holiday music filled the gym as families and volunteers alike were able to celebrate the holiday season.
“I thought it was a wonderful turnout and it was very fulfilling to provide these children with a better Christmas. As a future teacher, it is very rewarding and passion to work with children, so we were very excited to be a part of this event,” said Stephanie Ryan, president of Student Virginia Education Association.