UM Student Groups Helping Others for the Holidays

At the University of Montevallo, there’s no shortage of holiday good cheer and spreading it to others through the gift of giving.

Several student groups gathered items for those in need for the holidays.

After being inactive for two years due to COVID-19 precautions, the Social Work Club returned to active status in November and immediately kicked off a food pantry drive in Fallin Hall that ends at the conclusion of the fall semester.

“Another member of our club, Katie Wilson, built a food pantry box for the city several years ago, but we wanted to make our own box and put it on Main Street inside Fallin Hall so people can come from around the community to donate non-perishable food and clothing or take what they need,” said Abigail Baker, a junior social work major from Birmingham and president of the club.

The red box with green garland is on the first floor of Fallin Hall at 737 Main St. It’s available to receive donations from the time Fallin Hall opens during the week at 8 a.m. to the time it closes at 5 p.m.

Dr. Amiee Mellon, interim dean of the Stephens College of Business and associate professor of business, said UM’s chapter of the American Marketing Association hosted a hygiene drive for Shelby Emergency Assistance, a non-profit organization in Montevallo.

Jason Perry, director of Student Diversity Recruitment and Retention and Falcon Scholars in Action coordinator, said the drive was a competition between various student groups on campus to collect the most points, which were dependent on the items brought in. The value of items was determined by the level of need in the Shelby Emergency Assistance hygiene pantry, so the students benefitted from providing the most needed items.

AMA provided students prizes thanks to local businesses and sponsors. A total of 1,082 items valued at $3,300 were donated to the drive from students and from Publix.

Items included 284 tubes of toothpaste, 62 bottles of shampoo, 75 bottles of conditioner, 81 containers of body wash and more.

Students in the Campus Veterans Association collected toys during a recent holiday toy drive.

The winning groups were Phi Chi Theta in first place, the Psychology Club in second and Sigma Alpha Iota in third.

Also, Jennifer Elliott with the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs at UM said the Campus Veterans Association arranged a Reserve Toys for Tots toy drive with the U.S. Marine Corps out of Jefferson County. The drive ended Nov. 28 and more than 70 toys were collected at the UM Veteran Center for children from infants to preteens.