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By Nicole Thurston

CCC Journalism Program

BLACKWOOD – The Camden County College Foundation held its Giving Tuesday Fair on Tuesday in the Connector Building Atrium on the Blackwood campus.

The foundation came together with a number of CCC clubs and sponsors to collect donations for various community organizations, such as the Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center and the CCC Market Place Food Pantry. From 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., students were welcome to donate supplies to the clubs, earning them a ticket to enter in a raffle with an array of prizes. Numerous other activities were held alongside the Giving Tuesday Fair, including a bake sale fundraiser held by the women’s softball team and henna tattoos done by the Muslim Club.

The CCC Cougar engages in the raffle wheel with students. Photo by Nicole Thurston, CCC Journalism Program.

Kelly A. Jackson, mathematics professor, CCC Foundation secretary and founder of the Giving Tuesday Fair, is in charge of the book donations for the BookSmiles nonprofit organization each year. She said she enjoyed collecting donations at the fair.

“This is by far the most student-involved event we hold all year,” Jackson said. “It’s better to give and receive, with the prize raffle being a motivating factor for students to get involved and develop a culture of giving and bringing awareness to the communities around them.” 

Students who attended were able to enjoy giving back to their community while spinning the raffle wheel, listening to a live DJ and taking pictures with the college’s Cougar mascot. Second-year CCC student and biology major Jake Evans dropped off canned goods and non-perishable food items for the CCC Market Place Food Pantry. 

“It feels good to give back to my town and to people in need during the holidays, which are particularly hard for a lot of people,” Evans said. “Sure, the prize raffle is a plus but that’s not the main reason I think most people, including myself, come to drop off these donations. It’s really about giving to those in need.”

Through the help of students across the campus, the donation boxes in front of tables around the room filled considerably throughout the event. Roberto Feudale, adviser of the Chemistry Club, said the fair was just the start of the group’s charitable efforts this season.

“We collected only four toys today but this is the beginning of our drive,” Feudale said. “We will collect toys through mid-December and will deliver them to local centers.”

Melissa Daly, CCC Foundation development associate, said the foundation works to help students in a variety of ways. “Our mission is to support the college through scholarships and other program support. The majority of what we fund at the college would be scholarships for students and we also provide funding for different academic programs across campus, as well as athletic programs.”

She said the Giving Tuesday Fair has developed in the last couple of years.

“Two years ago was the first time we expanded the fair to ask for support for other organizations besides just the foundation,” Daly said. “In prior years it was more of an online activity to raise funds for scholarships. But in the last two years or so we’ve made the fair more student-activity based for a variety of organizations in the community.”

Professor Kelly A. Jackson collects donations for the BookSmiles organization. Photo by Nicole Thurston, CCC Journalism Program.

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