Christmas Off Campus spreads holiday cheer

Campus+Ministry%27s+yearly+Christmas+on+Campus+celebration+brings+students+together+to+spread+Christmas+cheer+by+helping+the+less+fortunate.+

Shannon gray

Campus Ministry's yearly Christmas on Campus celebration brings students together to spread Christmas cheer by helping the less fortunate.

By Shannon Gray, Staff Writer

The holiday season is underway and those at Chaminade’s Campus Ministry are getting into the Christmas spirit through serving the community.

Christmas Off Campus is an annual event that allows various students to travel to the Next Step shelter in Kaka’ako in order to provide less fortunate families with a holiday dinner, entertainment as well as christmas gifts.

For the director of campus ministry, Danny O’Regan, Christmas Off Campus allows student organizations to come together and provide much needed relief for those who are in need.

“It’s amazing that in the crunch time of finals students can do one last thing together and get really excited for Christmas,” said O’Regan of Friday’s festivities. “It allows us to come together as a community to celebrate while helping those who are less fortunate.”

The driving force behind the event is the desire to help the in-need children of Honolulu who may otherwise not have the chance to experience a traditional Christmas celebration.

“There are not that many opportunities for people to come in and really give them a christmas experience,” said O’Regan. “People do come in to give them food on Christmas Day but not really the gifts, so it’s nice that we can come in and provide that for them.”

Every year multiple student organizations come together to make this event a reality and, according to O’Regan, the thanks they receive is what makes it all worth it.

“A few years ago some of the parents stood up and said to us ‘you don’t know how much this means to us since we don’t have gifts for the kids,’” he said.

Every year multiple student organization take part in this annual event. From the Samoan Club to the Accounting Club, the desire to help those in need is experienced throughout the student body.

O’Regan hopes that this experience will lead students to continue to perform community service with those in need.

“We have some students who are regular attendees to our Feed the Hungry programs but we also have a lot of students who have not taken part in that, so this is a great way to get them out there,” said O’Regan. “What we are actually saying is that we recognize that there is a need out  community and we are going out to address that.

As for the future of Christmas Off Campus, O’Regan hopes to see the student involvement as well as the program itself grow.

“There are many other shelters that have needs as well as retirement homes that need some Christmas cheer and I think that that could be a great way for us to expand,” said O’Regan of the future of the program.

Christmas Off Campus takes place at the Next Step shelter Friday in Kaka’ako at 5:00p.m.