Phi Sigma Sigma’s Winter Wonderland

The Charger Bulletin

Every year before the end of the fall semester, Phi Sigma Sigma sorority works with the Giving Tree Foundation and Christian Community Action to organize the Winter Wonderland. This initiative raises money to provide holiday presents to children whose families cannot afford to provide them, ensuring that they can celebrate the holiday season.

This year, Phi Sigma Sigma sorority was asked to sponsor 120 children, amounting to around $8,400.

Christian Community Action (CCA), located in New Haven, provides food, housing and support to the poor within the community through a variety of programs including a children’s summer program, diaper bank and a Thanksgiving basket distribution that reaches more than 1,000 families.

Phi Sigma Sigma, under fundraising chair Samantha Oden, went around to various clubs, organizations and offices searching for co-sponsorships and donations. It takes around $70 to fully supply presents for one child, which includes one gift that they want and one gift that they need. Different organizations could “adopt” a child by providing that amount of money or even go shopping for the presents themselves.

Last year, Phi Sigma Sigma, through various co-sponsorships, was able to sponsor 70 children, which came out to around $4,900 raised. This year, the organization was asked to sponsor 120 children, amounting to around $8,400. Thanks to the many organizations that provided donations and gifts, all 120 children will be receiving presents for the holidays.

The Winter Wonderland is one of Phi Sigma Sigma’s largest philanthropy events and is concluded each year with a charity banquet. This year, the banquet took place on Friday, Dec. 7, in the Rec Center, and representatives from each contributing organization were present. Alice Pierce, a Case Manager with Christian Community Action, spoke to the audience and thanked them for the impact they made, not only on the child or children they sponsored, but also on the parents and families of the children as well as CCA.

Afterwards, representatives from Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Chi and Kappa Gamma Rho each spoke on the contributions their organization made as well as thanked Phi Sigma Sigma. They even fit in a few jokes in the middle to lighten the mood in the room. Jackie Botchman, a sister of the sorority and the previous fundraising chair, spoke on the accomplishments of Samantha Oden, the current chair, in organizing the banquet as well as the Winter Wonderland. Lastly, Oden thanked everyone for coming and, when reached for further comment, added that she was happy to see the event grow so much from last year and hopes that next year’s Winter Wonderland is even larger.

Sponsoring 120 children for the holidays this year not only speaks to the sorority’s dedication and tireless commitment, but also to the spirit of giving and community service that is prevalent through UNH, as seen through the many organizations and groups that assisted with the effort. A huge thank you is extended to Phi Sigma Sigma, the Giving Tree Foundation, Christian Community Action and the many clubs and organizations that helped make the holiday season a reality for so many children.