Employees reach out with special seasonal giving

Although the tradition of giving to others is common during the holidays, many Emory employees raised seasonal generosity to an uncommonly high level during the recent holiday season. People with AIDS, the homeless, the sick and the needy were all beneficiaries of holiday service projects planned by Emory offices, divisions and departments. This generosity took various forms including collecting canned goods and mounds of toys; hanging garlands and decorating trees; and even walking for a leukemia patient. These photos represent some of the many employee projects planned during the holiday season.

The homeless and the hungry

Holiday gifts often take the form of the extravagant: those gifts that we'd be too embarassed to buy for ourselves. But for some the basic necessities are extravagant. Several offices focused their holiday generosity on the poor, homeless and hungry. The General Libraries and Institutional Advancement collected and delivered canned goods to the Atlanta Community Food Bank. The central office of the Institutional Advancement Division sponsored a needy family in Jonesboro referred by the Family Ministries Program of Red Oak Methodist Church in Stockbridge. Health Sciences News and Information collected items for the Atlanta Women's and Children's Day Shelter. Offices in the Law School collected items for the Task Force for the Homeless. Facilities Management sponsored a toy drive for Nicholas House, a long-term shelter for families. Campus Life collected toys and canned goods for the needy at their annual holiday party.

Healing the sick

The strain of a serious illness or disability during the holidays can dampen or diminish the spirit of the season. Many offices chose to channel their generosity toward the ill, especially those living with AIDS. The outreach committee of the Rollins School of Public Health adopted a family severely affected by the disease. Boxes of food, bags of clothing, toys, books, stuffed animals, sheets, towels, household items and $100 cash were collected for the family, which is made up of an unmarried 17-year-old mother of two children, ages two and three, and the mother's brother. The mother has AIDS and is dependent on her brother, who is going to school and working part-time to support the family. Jane Price, chair of the Outreach committee, discovered the family through the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services. The committee also collected more than $1,000 for a public health student who was in a severe financial crisis and on the verge of homelessness due to his wife's critical illness. The Goizueta Business School Alumni Office collected items for a mother and child with AIDS.

OUTstaff, the organization for gay, lesbian and bisexual staff members, decorated the Jerusalem House, a residence for people with AIDS. Their visit included decorating three Christmas trees and three common rooms in the house as well as a potluck dinner.

The Health Sciences Center Library including the Grady, Emory Hospital and Yerkes branches, raised money to support employee Linda Seals in a marathon (26.2 miles) that she is walking to benefit a leukemia patient through the American Leukemia Society.

Emory Hospital erected an "Angel Tree" outside the hospital auditorium covered with stars representing families identified as needful by the Social Services Department of the hospital. Departments picked a star and worked to fill the needs requested by the family.

Hospital Education Services provided food supplies and personal hygiene products to Hospitality House, a home-away-from-home for people with modest means to stay if they have a family member in an area hospital.

-- Matt Montgomery