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The Gift of Giving

UMD Associate Professor Ariri Onchwari wraps a gift with a Steve O'Neil resident
December 6, 2018

UMD’s Education Department, Honors Program, America Reads & Counts, and Churches United in Ministry (CHUM) are hosting a gift giving event at the Steve O’Neil apartments, 115 W 4th St, on Friday, December 7 from 12 - 4 p.m.


The event invites the 44 families, including more than 80 children, who are living at the Steve O’Neil Apartments to pick out gifts for someone special.

The gifts are the result of a student donation drive, and the students will be on hand to help the children with the wrapping and to make sure that every family member is able to choose gifts for their loved ones.

UMD student and a young child wrap a gift together

Organizer and Professor Molly Harney says the Steve O’Neil Apartments is a long-term supportive housing complex, but, while safe from homelessness, residence continue to live with poverty, stress, and the impacts of trauma. “We’re bringing a little holiday magic to children and families who could use our support. And as a result, this season of giving will be felt by so many– students, staff, and faculty donating, staff reaching out, a child giving a gift to a parent, and a community coming together to bring the spirit of the season to life.”

This is the third year that UMD has hosted this event.

Young child looks at scarf with two adults at the Steve O'Neil Apartments in Duluth