By Brooke Hill | Staff Writer
At Baylor, Christmas takes on a special meaning.
Not only is it a joyous time of year, but it’s the time of year that Baylor alumni and others are able to give back to the university.
The 2017 Christmas Catalog presents alums and other adults with ideas about how to give back to the Baylor community. Ranging from the Baylor Scholarship Fund to the Baylor University Golden Wave Band, there are ways to donate to every part of the community.
Laura Lucas, director of annual giving at Baylor said the catalog usually has between 30 and 40 projects that range from helping veterans going back to school, to Campus Kitchens, which helps feed the hungry in the Waco Community, to helping Dr. Lori Baker’s project to return the remains of missing immigrants who have died crossing the border from Mexico.
“All of these are Baylor initiatives, and are just a sampling of what Baylor does,” Lucas said.
An example of one project from the Christmas Catalog is Santa’s workshop. This event is run by student volunteers and provides a Christmas Party for low-income children from the Waco Community. They provide a small meal and a present and loving environment to about 300 to 400 children each year.
“This project would not exist without outside funding, and many people are unaware that it is our students who run this initiative. This is just one more example of how even student could make a $10 gift, and make a difference in the life of one child,” Lucas said.
Under “Pursuing Excellence,” Baylor asks for donations for the Black Gospel Restoration Project, Faculty Excellence (which goes toward the cost of a summer faculty grant), the Hillis Scholars program and Academic Excellence Funds. Suggested donations amount are included, along with an explanation of what each program is about and how the money will be used
“Every gift, regardless of amount, is impactful,” said Lori Fogleman, assistant vice president for media communications.
The “Fostering a Strong Community” section provides donation suggestions for Line Camp, the First in Line program, Baylor University Golden Wave Band and the Bear Habitat. These are described as ways to support a traditions that have connected generations of the Baylor family.
The “Reaching the World for Christ” tab showcases the Global Mission Leadership Initiative, Engineers with a Mission, Campus Kitchen Project and Resident Chaplains. These are ways to donate to programs that continue the university’s devotion to its Christian mission.
“An incredibly important component of the Christmas catalog is to demonstrate, in a relevant way, the many ways someone can invest in meaningful projects across the University,” Fogleman said. “Every dollar is important in the support of Baylor’s mission.”
Donations toward “Changing Lives” will go to the Baylor Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic, Project Promise or Texas Hunger Initiative.
The catalog also provides the opportunity to serve those in need with donations to Baylor Autism Resource Clinic, Student Emergency Fund: Hurricane Harvey, Pro Bono legal service and the Reuniting Families project.
The opportunity to be a part of Baylor’s future is presented with “opening doors to the future,” where donors can contribute to the Baylor scholarship fund, VETS program, Baylor Nursing Clinical Experience and Prison Entrepreneurship Program.
“The annual Baylor Christmas Catalog is a wonderful and very meaningful way to honor Baylor family members, mentors and friends while helping advance the university’s mission and making a real impact on current and future students,” Fogleman said.
Until Thursday all are welcome to make a $38 gift to receive the 2017 Baylor Traditions Ornament, the proceeds of which support student mission trips to areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey. So far, more than 1,000 Judge Baylor ornaments and over 500 Baylor Seal ornaments have been ordered, Fogleman said.
“Christmas is a season of hope as we anticipate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ,” Fogleman said. “Baylor always has and always will be centered on its Christian mission, as we bring hope to the world through educating men and women for worldwide leadership and service by integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community. In this season of giving, the Baylor Christmas catalog is another way to connect the generosity of the Baylor Family of alumni, parents and friends with areas of need that will provide a lasting impact on our students and help our university advance its Christian mission.”