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Spreading some Christmas cheer!

Being an International student is tough. There are no two ways about it. You leave your home and go to another country with different laws, people, food, culture , education system etc. In addition, you miss all that is happening at home, from birthdays, to celebrations, to church activities etc. Your world changes forever. Everything is different, but with time you may or may not adjust to it. It can also be a wonderful experience where you are exposed to so much more that add to your rich life experiences but it is not void of challenges that you may encounter as well.

When I moved to the US to study, I had an idea of what to expect but it was quite different from my reality. Honestly, God has been faithful and has taken care of me throughout my stay here but it is never like being at home. I always say that I need to go home often because I need to recharge myself and come back. I am blessed to have come to school with my brother so we had each other and over the years, my community has grown. However, one of the difficult times are during the holidays when everyone goes home to their families to celebrate, but you, if you have no family or friends in the US…where do you go? You stay in your apartment and make all the video calls to give you a sense of being with your family.

My first Christmas holiday in the US, I wept. I felt very sad being away from my family, I was not used to this. My only comfort was that my brother was with me. It was a tough time and for a few years following that, I have spent these holidays in my apartment, or connecting with friends who didn’t have anywhere to go to. You may ask, why don’t you just go home? Well, it’s not cheap okay! Flying can be pricey and it is not something everyone can do often. So, we stay and do what we can to enjoy the holidays in our own little way.

But this year is going to be even more difficult due to COVID-19. This time, even if you could afford to go home, it can be quite challenging because of the travel restrictions. Also, we cannot have our usual gatherings because we are all trying to follow COVID safety protocols. This means that an even more isolated Christmas and this is why I came up with the idea to put together this project: The Christmas Surprise Care Package! Yaaay!

Help me share some some Christmas joy and to put a smile on the faces of some International families and individuals staying in Athens, Ohio for the holidays. On Christmas day, I am committed to delivering these care packages full of holiday snacks to these individuals but I cannot do it on my own. I need your help. How can you help?:

  1. You can donate to the cause – Each box is going to cost $17 and you can contribute any amount so we can raise $850 to provide 50 care packages. If we receive more…yaaay! This means more people can receive some of the care packages. To donate please follow this link.
  2. You can send us some items you would like us to include in the box. If you want to contribute to the box, please email vanessaomorgan@gmail.com.
  3. Spread the word so others can donate! I appreciate you for doing that!
  4. Send us names of International students or families that you believe should receive a surprise box. These individuals should be living in Athens during the holidays and they should be living within a 20 mile radius of Ohio University. We do not promise to provide for every single person but we shall give from what we receive. To submit a name, please fill out this form.

Christmas is a holiday that many people love and it’s a time to be surrounded by friends and family, but unfortunately, not everyone can do this. Help us with this project because even though we can’t provide all their cares and wants, we just may be able to make their Christmas day a little brighter!

Thank you in advance for supporting this campaign! God bless you!