News and Events
Pepperdine Alumni Chapters Reach Out During Holiday Season
In the spirit of Christmas, Pepperdine alumni chapters have carried on the motto of University founder, George Pepperdine: "Freely ye have received – freely give." Chapters across Southern California hosted several events to give back this year, collecting everything from canned goods to toys for those less fortunate.
The Ventura Waves held a "Freely Give for the Holidays" reception to benefit the West Valley Food Bank. A representative from the organization joined alumni at the event and spoke about the organization. Each attendee brought two canned items.
"Because of the economy, the food pantry donations are down considerably," says Greg Daum, vice president of the Ventura County Waves and minister of the Woodland Hills Christian Church. "Our church works with the pantry quite regularly, and I find that there are a lot of individuals who you don't think about that might need food during this time of year: senior citizens, people who are recently laid off and have homes but barely have enough to pay their bills, among others."
Daum coordinated the event, and was pleased to see the outpouring of donations from his fellow alumni. "We had four big boxes full," he says. "I hope that people affiliate Pepperdine not just with a prestigious academic reputation or a beautiful campus, but with people who are committed to service and charitable deeds."
The Orange County Waves held their "Freely Give for the Holidays" reception at the home of alumnus Robert Meadows. The reception supported the Salvation Army Adopt-a-Family program. Each attendee received information about the family designated by the Salvation Army and purchased a gift item for the family. Then, the alumni spent time enjoying appetizers and conversation while wrapping the gifts together.
"We were assigned a family of six -- a mom, dad, 10-year-old girl, and three boys aged 9, 3 and 2," says Sandra Davidson (BSM '82, MSTM '93), vice president of the Orange County Waves. "There were 35 of us who got together to wrap the presents and we ended up with about 50 to 60 packages; it filled up an entire pallet. That's what the holidays are all about -- giving to the needy."
The Los Angeles Waves held their "Freely Give for the Holidays" reception on December 10 to benefit Pasadena Toys for Tots. Each attendee brought an unwrapped toy and then enjoyed jazz music and food at Red, White, and Bluezz in Pasadena.
The Los Angeles alumni chapter is divided into five regions: San Gabriel Valley/Pasadena, San Fernando Valley, Downtown, South Bay and Westside. Every region was well represented, says Emily Burson (BA '00), chapter president.
"We are taking our lead from President Benton's call for alumni to serve and doubling our service events to 10 this year," she says, explaining that each region will host two events, including Step Forward Day. "With the media focused on how much we've lost, we as alumni are focusing on what we can give, and how we can share with others who are struggling," Burson says.
For more information on how to get involved in an alumni chapter near you, contact Giuseppe Nespoli at (310) 506-4983 or visit the Pepperdine University Alumni Web site.