COD community giving initiative tops $27,500 to help those in need
The College of DuPage 2020 "Up to S.N.O.W. (Serving the Needs of Others in Winter) Good" community giving initiative provided more than $27,500 in support for 16 nonprofit partner agencies in DuPage County.
Coordinated by COD Cares, under the auspices of the college's Community Engagement Department, the campaign invited volunteers to assist local community-based organizations. Nearly 200 COD "do-gooders" participated in this year's collection, donating nearly 1,800 items valued at more than $15,000. Additionally, volunteers donated gift cards valued at more than $1,500 to help families with their holiday gift and grocery shopping. All giving activities were completed online, in line with COVID-19 safety protocols.
DuPage Pads, Bridge Communities, Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans Services, Family Shelter Services and COD's Fuel Pantry also received a collective $11,000 in support from COD Cares.
"The pandemic has created an increased need for our partner agencies' services and resources," said COD President Dr. Brian Caputo. "We are proud of this annual collaboration and the impact it has on the residents of DuPage County, which include a number of College of DuPage students, faculty, staff and their loved ones."
For the first time this year, the Up to S.N.O.W. Good drive also was open to community volunteers. COD Community Engagement Coordinator Ami Chambers said residents from Wyndemere Senior Living in Wheaton committed to donating gift cards to benefit the DuPage Office of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
"We were thrilled to have Wyndemere residents join us this year and are excited to offer future opportunities to groups and individuals outside the college," she said. "The COD community extends beyond the college's physical campus and we welcome more collaboration for the betterment of the greater DuPage area."
The college's Community Engagement Department honors COD's reciprocal relationship with the community, offering a variety of mutually-beneficial partnership programs to expand awareness of the contributions of the college's students, faculty and staff to the District 502 community.
Now in its seventh year, COD Cares fosters a culture of service, raising awareness of community-based organizations and providing educational opportunities regarding issues that affect residents and students.
"Our community's needs have shifted in the wake of COVID-19 as have the ways the college and COD Cares engage with the community," Chambers said. "The additional monetary support will help these organizations provide much-needed services and resources to their clients."
For more information or to get involved in the Up to S.N.O.W. Good campaign, visit cod.edu/snow.