December 20, 2012
"It's free? Really?" the surprised response was heard over and over again in Cohen Lounge at the Northampton Community College Holiday Bazaar, a four-day event which allows students to shop for holiday gifts for free.
"They were so grateful and happy to have gifts to give to relatives and friends," Rebecca Reddin of Academic Affairs and a member of NCC's Community Service Committee shared. "When we said the items were free they couldn't believe it."
Heartwarming moments were found at every turn:
A female student who was looking through the children's items said, "I don't have children, but I have nephews. I didn't have any money but now I can get them presents!"
A student thoughtfully selecting a snowman for his mother.
A brand new student, just moved here with her family to make a new start, "We don't have anything like this in Florida. Thank you so much!"
A mother had almost given up finding the Mickey Mouse crayons on her child's wish list, but ended up finding them at the bazaar.
Alex Camaerei, communication studies major, selected a basket of toothbrushes that will be distributed to the homeless. On the last day of the bazaar, he will pick up any leftover items to donate to a homeless shelter.
Students from Bangor Middle School and DeFranco Elementary School came to help set up on Monday. They were a huge help!
Over 500 students shopped at the bazaar. The new and like-new gift items were donated by NCC faculty and staff. "I really want to emphasize how great the items are that were donated. We can't thank the college community enough for what they did to make this happen," Reddin said enthusiastically. "One person collected items from her friends and brought them in every morning. The students who visited the bazaar were so impressed with the gifts and so moved that they asked how they could help with next year's bazaar.
It truly is the heart of Northampton in that room," Reddin added. "And the students felt it. When they left they were all smiles."
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