November 12, 2018 – Campus Ministry at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) in partnership with the Student Affairs Office (SAO), through various student clubs, and ENS201 students launched the first in a series of Christmas Charity events: Be a Star on the Christmas Tree.
This first event consisted of providing 170 underprivileged children with WishList Gifts of toys and clothes – one of each for each child. NDU president, Fr. Pierre Najem, encouraged the campaign by selecting the first gift, signing a star ornament, and hanging it as a tree-topper. The star symbol was chosen by ENS 201 students to represent the Star of Bethlehem as a guiding light of our actions and reminder of the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ.
The SAO through various student clubs, ENS201 students, and NDU community through staff and faculty members supported the Campus Ministry in promoting the selection of the Wish Gifts. NDU president, Fr. Pierre Najem, encouraged the campaign by selecting the first gift, signing a star ornament, and hanging it as a tree-topper. The star symbol was chosen by ENS 201 students to represent the Star of Bethlehem and guide our actions towards the birth of our savior, Jesus.
The event was hosted by the guest of honor: NDU alumna, Hilda Khalifeh, who discussed the importance of taking risks in life and to cherish every moment during undergraduate studies. Fr. Albert Assaf, University Chaplain General, highlighted the importance of showing empathy to our society by being responsible and involved in taking actions, such as extending hands to the NGOs supported by the campaign: “Hand and Heart organization” & “Lien de Charité”. Dr. Charbel Zgheib, Dean of Students at the SAO, emphasized the role of clubs in mobilizing community activities, and Dr. George Eid, Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences, talked about the initiative that the faculty is taking to embed community service learning into LAC courses, such as ENS201; thereby, offering students opportunities to meet one of the mission statements at NDU: “enlightened citizenship, human solidarity, moral integrity, and belief in God”.
December 3, 2018 – Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) community gathered in the Exhibition Hall to participate in the second Christmas Charity Event organized by the Campus Ministry, SAO, and ENS201 students.
Different student clubs were brought together through gift-giving and fundraising against the backdrop of live violin and piano music. NDU’s main caterers, “Sage and Savvy,” offered wheat to all NDU community in celebration of Saint Barbara’s day. The campaign raised $1100 in less than an hour through food and bake sale donations. Over the course of the event, more than 250 gifts were collected to build a Christmas tree with joint student clubs’ efforts.
Part of the leftover food and wheat was distributed to the cleaning personnel and the rest was donated to our partner NGO: “Lien De Charité” in Aachkout.
The gifts will be distributed to all the underprivileged children at a Christmas fiesta on December 20. The collected funds along with extra money provided by the student union through the SAO will be donated on December the 21st to “Lien de Charité” in Aachkout.
December 20, 2018 – Campus Ministry at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) in partnership with the Student Affairs Office (SAO), through various student clubs, and ENS201 students held the final Christmas charity event, distributing presents to the 170 under-privileged children in the care of the “Hand and Heart” organization.
The children arrived at 5pm, and were escorted to the crèche, where Fr. Albert Assaf, University Chaplain General, led prayers of thanksgiving. After a brief interlude, during which the children sang Christmas songs, everyone proceeded to the cafeteria, where the main event took place.
Students from various clubs, including the Pastoral Community, worked alongside the Campus Ministry, serving food prepared by NDU catering team Sage & Savvy, and manning a variety of activity stands, including face-painting, arts-and-crafts, and hand-print stations for the children. The evening culminated with a visit from 2 different Santas who distributed the presents. The joy in the air was palpable, as each child was presented with two gifts, one of toys and one of clothing, before finally being sent home, filled with Christmas cheer.