Monday, December 27, 2010

Helping Hands for Christmas

Several Wake Forest Schools of Business students are finding an opportunity to not just do good, but do well, through Santa’s Helper – an organization founded by Chip Rives (MBA ’89) in 1986.

Rives, who created the organization as an undergraduate at Wake Forest, founded Santa’s Helper as a way to provide toys to underprivileged children in Winston-Salem. Santa’s Helper recruits student-athletes and other volunteers to wrap gifts and then deliver them, dressed as Santa and elves. Rives, a former Wake Forest fullback, was featured in Sports Illustrated in 1987 in the “Sportsmen of the Year” issue for his work.

More than 100 Wake Forest student-athletes volunteered for this year’s Santa’s Helper – among those, Ryan Britt (’11), a Business and Enterprise Management major with a nonprofit concentration. Britt has been a volunteer for the past four years. Britt, who volunteered as a Santa, hopes to one day join a company that serves underprivileged children. He says Santa’s Helper is a good fit for him in his career pursuits.

“I had a professor tell me that it is important to make a difference in even one person’s life. I believe this and want to help others any way I can,” Britt said. “In any company I join in the future, I want that company to have a mission of doing ‘good’ in the community.”

Caitlin Crawford (’11), an Accountancy major, and a track and cross country runner, volunteered as an elf. “The experience has been great. Seeing all the little kids’ faces light up is the perfect experience to put you in the Christmas mood,” Crawford said. “Doing activities off campus that really make a difference help keep you in touch with the Pro Humanitate motto.”

Santa’s Helper raises about $15,000 each year. The families are selected based on a list provided by the local Salvation Army. This year, the program served about 170 families.

Click here to read an article about the event in the Winston-Salem Journal.

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