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- Mercy in Action
The Gwynedd Mercy University community successfully completed its annual Holiday Outreach initiatives, which supported Mercy Neighborhood Ministries and the GESU School in North Philadelphia. Members of the GMercyU community, including alumni, faculty, and staff, took part in the collections.
Together with Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School, GMercyU provided thanksgiving meal bags and Shop Rite gift cards to 70 families at Mercy Neighborhood Ministries. GMercyU students provided around 740 pieces of Thanksgiving food through the Student Athletes Activities Committee and the can drive at Griffin Madness, which was facilitated by Student Government Association. A portion of that food was used to comprise the meal bags for the families.
More than 65 gifts were also collected for children attending Mercy Neighborhood Ministries After School programs, which were wrapped at GMercyU's Annual Tree Lighting Event.
Mercy Neighborhood Ministries is located in Tioga, North Philadelphia, and provides essential services to children, families, and adults with special needs in the Tioga and Nicetown areas.
"Holiday Outreach is a longstanding way that our community makes Mercy real during the holiday season. This collective effort demonstrates that our community of Mercy is committed to living out the mission and identity of our institution as a Catholic university rooted in the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy," Director of Campus Ministry Jeff Wallace said.
In conjunction with the efforts for Mercy Neighborhood Ministries, the GMercyU Community also supported 17 families at the GESU School. Families received Thanksgiving meals and grocery store gift cards as well gift cards to purchase holiday gifts, around $75 per person.
The Gesu School serves some of the poorest ZIP codes in the Philadelphia region, and one out of three families has an income below the Federal Poverty Level. Each year, the school identifies families in need of a little extra help during the holiday season. GMercyU's Campus Ministry then matches those families with a participating department on campus.
Members of the GMercyU Community also collected 40 coats for youth at Project HOME, which serves adults, children and families in the Philadelphia area who are experiencing homelessness and poverty.
"I was really pleased with the enthusiastic response, especially given the challenges and change that our community experienced this year," Assistant Director of Campus Ministry for Community Service Betsy Stone Plummer said. "After being apart from colleagues for so many months, it was wonderful to join together in the spirit of Mercy."
GMercyU would like to say a special thanks to Director of Campus Ministry Jeff Wallace, Assistant Director of Campus Ministry for Community Service Betsy Stone Plummer, and Professor of Practice for Psychology and Director of General Education Stephanie Fratantaro for their leadership.