CUH Campus Ministry brings Christmas off Campus for children and families

Student+volunteers+help+prepare+for+Christmas+on+Campus+by+wrapping+presents+for+the+children.+

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Student volunteers help prepare for Christmas on Campus by wrapping presents for the children.

By Alexis Bennett , Staff Writer

While most students and faculty are looking forward to Christmas break, Chaminade’s Campus Ministry and student volunteers work hard to bring the spirit of Christmas to well-deserving families.

Christmas off Campus is an event for families and children that would have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas in its entirety. Christmas off Campus takes place Dec. 4 at the Next Step Shelter in Kaka’ako. The event  offers families a holiday meal, live entertainment, activities for kids, and a visit from Santa accompanied with gifts for each family.

“This is only the second year that we’ve taken our Christmas program off campus. In the past, it was previously called Christmas On Campus. The current concept of the program is still faithful to the original spirit of it,” said Bro. Brandon Alana, Pastoral Campus Minister.

Another special moment is when photos are taken with santa and christmas carols are sung. Each child gets to sit on Santa’s lap while they tell Santa about what they want for Christmas. The Christmas off Campus staff tries to get each child’s name individually so when they get to Santa he will have the gift on hand and make the interaction more personal. These presents are given by various student groups and organizations through Chaminade.

“It’s always amusing to see their reaction when Santa knows their name and has a gift for them. Their face lights up and for that moment, it’s as if they really do believe in miracles,” said Bro. Brandon.

The best way for students to get involved is by showing up and be willing to help. There is an important role to play for these kids. Campus Ministry needs students to help run stations to help decorate, play Santa, and especially helping with serving the holiday meal.

“All of us come together to bring Christmas to those who have less than we do, but being able to see the children’s faces glow after receiving a present from Santa is everything,” said Martin J. Moore, a four year volunteer.

The one area that needs more help is the entertainment part of the portion of the night. If you have a gift for singing or dancing it would be a great form of entertainment for the people of the Next Step Shelter. Live entertainment is a major part of the night for the children and it is a crowd favorite.

“Seeing a parent see their child makes my night. Everyone works together to make Christmas a special time for those less fortunate and this event does that, and so much more,” said Moore.

If anyone wants to help out and share some holiday spirit check out the Chaminade Campus Ministry website and check under the “get involved” tab. Sign up by talking to Campus Minister, Maimoa Fineisloi or sign up online at www.cuhministry.org/coc.