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November 9, 2012

Did You Know?: Boiler Volunteer Network

BVN seasonal programs

Jungsun Kim, Rachel Ploskonka and Diane Richey place ornaments on the Season of Sharing holiday tree in Boiler Volunteer Network's offices in Stewart Center. The Season of Sharing program, which began earlier this month, provides gifts to local children in need. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)
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Purdue’s Boiler Volunteer Network -- a campus organization that provides faculty, staff and students with service opportunities throughout Greater Lafayette -- has kicked off its fall food drive and holiday gift-giving program.

On Nov. 4, Boiler Volunteer Network (BVN) began its annual Season of Sharing program, which provides gifts to local children in need. Through Dec. 19, Purdue community members can visit BVN’s offices in Stewart Center, Room G4, to sign up to provide one or more gifts.

Participants are invited to choose one or more ornament from the holiday tree erected in BVN’s offices. Written on each ornament is a child’s name, age, gender and a suggested gift, though participants may purchase any appropriate gift of their choosing for their recipient.

Last year, the Season of Sharing program provided 362 children with more than $12,000 worth of total gifts, says Harry Brown, assistant dean of students and BVN head.

“The winter holidays are a very special time of the year, but due to economic hardship, some families struggle to provide their children the kind of experiences many folks remember,” Brown says. "Our Season of Sharing program helps extend the holiday celebration to those families in need."

Season of Sharing gifts must be submitted to BVN unwrapped. After Dec. 19, the organization will provide the gifts to four local nonprofits, which provided the names of the children who will receive them. The nonprofits will then provide the gifts to the children’s parents, who will wrap them and give them to their children during the holiday season.

Another ongoing BVN program is Fall Harvest, a food drive that is collecting nonperishable food items and personal hygiene items for Food Finders Food Bank, based in Lafayette. Since Oct. 14, BVN has been encouraging those on campus -- from students to faculty and staff -- to organize food drives in their departments, residence halls, and student organizations.

During Nov. 15-17, BVN staff members will be at University Church, at 320 North St. in West Lafayette, to accept donations. Donations will be accepted from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 15-16 and from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 17. Food Finders Food Bank later will distribute the food and hygiene items to low-income residents in Tippecanoe County and 15 surrounding counties.

Brown says this year BVN hopes to collect about one pound of food per student, or 36,000 pounds total.

"Since 2008, the need for food assistance throughout the area has increased greatly," Brown says. "Purdue's contribution to helping meet this need is very, very important in the big picture."

For more information about BVN and its programs, go to https://www.purdue.edu/odos/bvn/aboutbvn.php.

Writer: Amanda Hamon, 49-61325, ahamon@purdue.edu