Several of Mount Saint Mary College’s departments collaborated to help those in need throughout local Hudson Valley counties through a “Blessing Bag” donation campaign.
As part of the celebration of the college’s Founders Week – which honors the legacy of the Dominican Sisters who created the college – Campus Ministry collaborated with the Mount’s Honors Program, the Dominican Scholars of Hope (DSH), and the Alpha Chi honor society to create dozens of Blessing Bags.
With generous donations from the Mount community, around 45 bags were assembled, consisting of essential personal care items and toiletries catered to either men, women, or both.
Charles Zola is director of DSH, associate professor of Philosophy, director of the Mount’s Catholic and Dominican Institute, and assistant to the President for Mission Integration. He noted, “This event exemplifies in a very real way how the Dominican pillars are lived out in the life of our campus. The campus community came together to support this cause and students from various groups came together and united to serve the needs of others by collecting items that are desperately needed by people in the Newburgh area. This event beautifully exemplifies how community and service are expressed at the Mount.”
The event has become a tradition at the college.
“We began this first donation drive for Blessing Bags in Spring of ’21, and in Fall of ’21, we aligned it to coincide with Founders Week, thus establishing it, in a more deliberate way, with the history and heritage of the Mount,” explained Marie-Therese Sulit, associate professor of English and director of the Mount’s Honors Program.
In addition to Sulit and Zola, those aiding the effort were Fr. Gregoire Fluet, Campus Chaplain, director of Campus Ministry, and adjunct instructor of History and Religious Studies; and students from various campus organizations.
“We’ll do our best with what we receive, which, I believe, is in the giving spirit of the Mount,” said Sulit. “The Blessing Bags Donation Drive brings our community in the giving, the receiving, and in the creating!”