By: Shane Simmons
To say students are busy during the holiday season is an understatement. Between balancing homework, class, finals and minimal sleep, it would seem easy to become burned out.
Refuting this mindset, a Kelley School of Business Indianapolis student organization has found the key to happiness during what can prove to be a stressful time of year for students—giving back.
In December, Kelley Indy Cares partnered with Damar Services, Inc., a nonprofit organization that serves individuals with disabilities, to shop for 200 children that live on Damar’s campus, located on the southwest side of Indianapolis.
Those who volunteer to shop for the kids receive the child’s Christmas list, which has all of the items that particular child needs or wants. Each volunteer is given $75 per kid to shop with, and their job is to find those items and make that child’s Christmas extra special.
“This is a gratifying event because it really makes me appreciative of everything I have,” explains Kelley Indy Cares co-president Jake Gale, BS’18. “These kids will ask for simple clothing needs like underwear or socks, while some people take those things for granted and ask for more frivolous gifts.”
“Just knowing that you get to give kids what they really want – and something they wouldn’t normally get for Christmas – feels really nice,” says Sunnih Flores, BS’19.
Junior Caleb Martin says the holiday shopping event is one of his favorites, explaining what he calls a priceless feeling.
“In my life, I’ve had a lot that has been given to me, and I know there are a lot of people who haven’t been as fortunate. To be able to give back to those people is a great feeling,” Caleb said, while holding a stuffed animal he’d selected for the child he was shopping for.
“In my career I want to help nonprofits, and Kelley Indianapolis allows me to combine my business experience and help people. Kelley Indy Cares is a great way to merge those two things together,” adds Martin.
Thanks to Damar Services, Kelley Indy Cares and multiple other volunteers, 200 children will have a Christmas. Every day, Kelleys touch the lives of many people, and Kelley Indy Cares exemplifies a special rule: You can never be too busy to lend a helping hand.
Kelley Indy Cares is a student organization whose mission is to build character, humanity and compassion of the students at Kelley Indianapolis through philanthropic acts. Students participate in at least two volunteer events each month, but during the holiday season, there’s one particular day where they make a measurable impact. If you’re interested in joining Kelley Indy Cares, click here.