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Above and Beyond


by Miranda Buschur, a freshman marketing major from St. Henry, Ohio.

As much as Ohio Northern University is a community unto itself, it also is a member of the larger communities of Ada, Ohio, and Hardin County. The holidays are a time when the University acts on behalf of those in these communities that need a helping hand.

Cover photo: From left, Brenda Hamlin, Deb Miller, Sherry Agin and Marcia Prater from the Ohio Northern University Admissions Office stand among collected gifts for 172 Hardin County children.

Students, faculty and staff mobilize each December through a variety of philanthropy initiatives that benefit families, charitable organizations, area food banks and, especially, children.

This year, the ONU Secretarial Association continued its efforts on behalf of the Children of Hardin County program for the 24th year, coordinating a toy and clothing drive that helped 172 children. An additional 50 families from the Ada community also were helped. Volunteers collected toys, clothes and other gifts in record amounts, and the ONU wrestling team donated the gate revenue from their Dec. 5 invitational and collected toys.

“This year seemed to be our biggest year yet. I truly feel that we definitely ‘meshed’ as one this year for the greater good,” says Brenda Hamlin, director of the program.

However, this is not the only giving that the University has done for the holiday season.

The Giving Tree in the English Chapel was plucked bare of its tags this year. Each tag contained the name of a family in need of help. This student-support event provided an extra-special holiday season for many area families.

Another combined effort, put on by the Panhellenic Council, was Fill the Fireplace, which involved the participation of 13 different campus organizations. Between these 13 organizations, 11 families were “adopted,” meaning each family received presents and a Christmas dinner for the holiday season.

Bonds and relationships are built through philanthropy. For example, one organization has had the opportunity to “adopt” the same family two years in a row, creating an even deeper bond between students and the family.

Along with these efforts of giving, Kappa Phi hosted its annual Sing-A-Thon. This year, however, the proceeds from the event went toward the Stephen Cox Memorial Scholarship fund. Cox was an alumnus of ONU who passed away this year. For 24 straight hours, songs of the holiday season filled the McIntosh activities room.

Heterick Memorial Library’s fourth annual Feet for Fines program gave students the opportunity to pay accrued fines for overdue books and other library materials with children’s shoes and socks. The library was able to collect 21 pairs of shoes, 101 pairs of socks, 10 pairs of mittens and three winter hats for the Helping Hands charity in Kenton, Ohio. Food donations also were accepted and donated to the Ada Food Pantry. Feet for Fines is a joint initiative between Heterick Library, ONU Women and the Ada Public Library.

Finally, the ONU Bookstore offered a 20 percent discount on many in-store items in return for a food item donation, collecting more than 200 lbs. for the Ada Food Pantry.