December 1, 2012
Students from the University of Virginia have successfully completed their mission of brightening the holiday season for a number of needy families around Charlottesville.
Every year the Madison House, UVa's student volunteer center, sponsors Charlottesville families during the holiday season. Volunteers are sent a list of families from the Salvation Army who matches them with local families who can provide food, clothing and gifts to those in need.
The student volunteers say they enjoy this work because it allows them to get outside the UVa bubble and be a part of the community on a much deeper level.
Brooke Schuler, one of the program directors for Holiday Sharing said that it's a unique experience.
"You get to see how much joy the holiday season can really bring. It reminds you of what is really important. Classes and school are both definitely important but this kind of work sets everything straight," Schuler said.
This Madison House Program has been going on since 1987. However, volunteers say this holiday season is especially important because many more families have been affected by layoffs or by a loss of income.