The Holiday Bazaar
It started in 2008, when many families were hit hard by the "Great Recession." Faculty and staff at Northampton Community College pitched in to give students the opportunity to give gifts to loved ones during the holidays by donating new and gently used books, household items, toys and electronics so students could "shop" for free.
Students were so surprised and appreciative that the event has become a tradition - a way for faculty and staff to show they understand students' financial situation and the sacrifices many of them make to pursue a college education.
When the Holiday Bazaar opened this year on December 16, students were lined up outside the doors. This year set a new record of more than 1,000 items for them to choose from.
"It's free? Really?" could be heard over and over again from astonished students. Several were so grateful they offered to make donations, but they were told no, this was the faculty and staff's gift to students.
Take a look at all the smiling faces of shoppers at the bazaar in this photo gallery. In addition to shopping, students were treated to cookies, candy canes, cider and a gift-wrapping station to wrap their selections.