- by Mount Saint Mary College

COVID-19 is this holiday season’s biggest Grinch – but just like that grumpy green grouch, it won’t stop Christmas from coming, said Fr. Gregoire Fluet, campus chaplain and director of the Mount Saint Mary College Campus Ministry. 

As of Tuesday, December 8, the college’s virtual Giving Tree event had garnered donations of more than 650 toys for families in need, to be given to the Catholic Charities origination.

 Normally, the Campus Ministry office is overrun with toys, games, and art supplies by this time of year. In fact, last year’s Giving Tree shattered Fr. Fluet’s goal of donating 1,000 toys, with a total of 1,092. But resident Mount students have been home since the week of Thanksgiving, finishing the semester virtually.

“This year was far more challenging,” Fr. Fluet admitted. But where there’s a will at the Mount, there’s a way. Thanks to the Mount’s Student Government Association (SGA), including Kate Whitfield of Garden City, N.Y., SGA executive vice president; and Eddie Arnold of Southampton, N.Y., SGA president; the Student Athletic Advisory Board (SAAC); and the college’s resident assistants, Fr. Fluet was able to move the Giving Tree online.

“It was even a challenge as to where to send the toys, but the students felt strongly that they should remain with Catholic Charities where they have gone in the past to be distributed to needy Newburgh families,” Fr. Fluet explained. “Once again, all of this shows the generosity and sense of service and outreach that defines Mount students and the campus community.”  

Fr. Fluet wants, once again, to break the 1,000 toy barrier, but time is short: the college will need to end the campaign on Thursday, December 17 to make certain that all toys are delivered in time. If you would like to help the college’s efforts, you can donate through Amazon at this link:

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