'Tis the season of giving at UM-Flint

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Staff members from our office of information technology services gathered at a restaurant with a local waitress holding a very generous tip
For twelve years, UM-Flint Information Technology Services (ITS) staff members have been giving an extra-large tip to a server in the area during the holidays.

"Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more," says H. Jackson Brown, Jr., author of Life's Little Instruction Book, "but those giving more."

It's one lesson that a professor doesn't have to teach at the University of Michigan-Flint. The UM-Flint community is a generous group who give of their time, talent, and resources year-round. During the holiday season, they regularly organize collections for those in need.

Here's a sample of this year's efforts:

Tip Drive – Information Technology Services (ITS)

For the past twelve years, UM-Flint's ITS staff has surprised a local server with an extremely generous tip. In recent years, the initiative has been expanded to include people donating from across campus and beyond.

According to Jason Gooding, who spearheaded the effort with a Facebook fundraiser, the tip is given to those who especially need help, including college students, single parents working multiple jobs, and recently diagnosed cancer patients with medical bills. This year's goal is to raise $2,000 and provide a gift to more than one recipient.

Head-to-Toe Tree & Toy Drive – Faculty & Staff Holiday Party

Faculty and staff are encouraged to bring a new toy, cash donation, or an item for the Staff Council-sponsored "Head-to-Toe Tree" (hats, mittens, socks, etc.) to the faculty and staff holiday party on December 11. Hosted by Chancellor Deba Dutta, the party takes place from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Northbank Center Ballroom. All donations will be given to a local charity this holiday season.

Season of Giving – Northbank Center Social Committee

For the fourth year in a row, the Northbank Center Social Committee collected toys, clothes, and other donations for families in need throughout Genesee County. According to Rufina Moody, an administrative assistant with the Northbank Center, a total of four families and twenty-two children will receive the donations made by individuals, departments, and businesses that work in the Northbank Center.

Toys for Tots – Student Veterans Resource Center (SVRC)

UM-Flint's Student Veterans Resource Center is an official drop-off location for the annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots drive. Located on the first floor of the University Pavilion, the SVRC is accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys and games between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday until December 16.

Sock Hop Collection – Social Work Club

The Social Work Club is accepting donations of new socks to give to those in need. There's a collection box at the Social Work Department office at 454 French Hall.  A member of the club will be gathering the donated socks on December 13 to give to the Center for Hope.

Food Pantry Drive – Block Club and Hall Council

The Block Club and Hall Council are overseeing a food drive to donate non-perishable items to the Wolverine Food Den. The drive runs through February 3. There are drop-off locations at the Recreation Center, the Intercultural Center, Student Involvement and Leadership on the third floor of the University Center, University Advancement within the Northbank Center, and the First Street Residence Hall.

Shelter of Flint's Adopt-a-Family program – School of Management

For the fourth year in a row, the School of Management is participating in the Shelter of Flint's Adopt a Family Holiday program. The Adopt a Family program helps those families at the shelter who are taking the steps needed to achieve stable housing but don't have resources to provide gifts, or even food or clothing, for their children.

Anna Swartz and Alexis Menard in the School of Management are coordinating the purchase of gifts for one such family. Any money or donations above what is needed for the gifts will be donated to the shelter in the form of gift cards for gas, work uniforms, or other needs.

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