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Top 5 Holiday Giving Ideas from the Harris School

massage therapist school, dental assistant training, medical assistant programs, medical billing trainingThe Harris School not only trains students to become career professionals, but also emphasizes the importance of contributing to your community

During this busy time of year, it’s easy to forget that the holidays are a time of giving. But taking time to remember those who are less fortunate can be a meaningful part of the holiday season, and that’s exactly what the staff and students at the Harris School of Business were thinking this season. What were their holiday giving ideas? They had many!

1. Adopt a Family in Need
The Hamilton/Trenton campus is proving that pulling together your resources can really make a difference in someone’s life. This December, the staff and students decided to “adopt” a family in need. Through the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, the campus was matched with a family in the Hamilton/Trenton area who has triplet 9-year-olds, a 7-year-old boy, and a 4-year-old daughter.

Deborah Kenney, director of education at the Hamilton campus explains that through the generosity of the students and staff, “We were able to provide Christmas dinner, a ‘family fun night’ box filled with items to make and bake, a week’s worth of groceries, and tons of gifts for the kids.”

“There are so many good holiday giving ideas,” Ms. Kenney continues, “And we wanted to do something that would make an immediate positive impact on someone’s life right here in our own community.”

2. Collect Gifts for Toys for Tots
The Wilmington campus is also thinking about families in need throughout the Delaware area. They set up collection boxes as part of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program. The campus was given a list of suggested toys, and as the month goes on, the collection boxes are filling up as students and staff donate gifts. The main goal of the Toys for Tots program is “to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.”

3. Setting Up an Angel Tree
The Dover campus is participating in giving activities as well. This year, Dover is partnering with the Salvation Army for the Operation Angel Tree program. With this program, there is a holiday tree with gift tags hung on it. On each gift tag is the name of a child and that child’s wish for a gift. Staff and students are encouraged to take a tag and purchase the gift written on the tag. The Salvation Army then donates the gifts to the families in time for the holidays. “Projects like this help make the holidays a special time for children in need,” says Erika Winans, campus director of the Dover campus.

4. Holding a Food Drive or a Winter Clothing Drive
Two campuses are holding food drives for the holidays. The Wilmington campus is collecting non-perishable items for the Food Bank of Delaware. The Food Bank of Delaware has a goal this December: to make sure “that no Delawarean goes without a holiday meal this season.” The Danbury campus is partnering with the Dorothy Day Food Pantry to collect food for people who are homeless or living in poverty in the Danbury area.

Several of our campuses also decided that holidays are a perfect time to help out one another. Being a student can mean that you don’t have extra money to spend, and some students may be struggling to make ends meet. To address this need, several campuses are organizing donations of food and clothing as a way to pull together everyone’s resources to help fellow students and their families who may need some extra support during the holiday season. “We believe that sometimes, charity begins at home,” says Melanie Gaskin, director of education at the Cherry Hill campus.

5. Helping Out Our Furry Friends
When it comes to holiday giving, humans aren’t the only creatures who are in need! The Danbury campus is holding a drive for pet supplies, such as blankets, animal food, toys, and medicine. All of the items are being donated to DAWS (Danbury Animal Welfare Society). DAWS is dedicated to animal welfare and to finding safe, caring homes for animals.

Using these ideas for holiday giving, the campuses at the Harris School not only help to improve the lives of others, but also discover how meaningful it is to be a contributing member of the community. The Harris School believes that part of becoming a professional in the working world is also understanding the importance of getting involved in your community.

The Harris School is proud of its staff and students for participating in these activities, and wants to wish everyone a happy holiday!


The Harris School of Business comprises eight campuses throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Connecticut. More than 12 different career-focused programs are offered to help students get on the path to a new career. The core programs include medical assistant programs, dental assistant training, medical billing training, and massage therapy courses.

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