The spirit of giving makes up the fabric of the Pepperdine community. Throughout the year, students, faculty, and staff take part in various service activities, large and small, fulfilling the University's mission at home and beyond. This holiday season, service initiatives continued the scope of service to avenues of generosity, and purpose-filled members of Pepperdine's five schools served familiar organizations to express their instinct to give.
Alumni and Waves of Service
Kicking off the holidays early, on November 3, more than 300 Pepperdine University alumni and volunteers in San Diego filled over 2,500 snack bags for military members flying home for the holidays. Coordinated by the Waves of Appreciation program, each bag was filled with granola bars, fruit snacks, cookies, and other non-perishable food items, and will be handed out to active-duty military members traveling through San Diego International Airport in the days leading up to Christmas.
"Military members are such a big part of our community. Trips home for many of them are long and tiring. The least we can do to show our appreciation for their service and sacrifice is make sure they're not flying home on an empty stomach," said Lauren Bullock ('02), Pepperdine University graduate and cofounding member of the San Diego alumni chapter's Waves of Appreciation.
On December 8, Graziadio Alumni Network-Northern California and Bay Area Waves hosted a traditional holiday gathering at the MacDonell family home, which included a drive to collect children's clothes or school supplies to support Agape Villages, a foster agency in Northern California.
On Tuesday, Dec. 17, the Graziadio Alumni Network-Los Angeles and L.A. Waves will host a holiday gathering at the 41 Ocean Club in Santa Monica benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure®. Ten dollars of each ticket sale will be donated towards the cause.
The Pepperdine Volunteer Center coordinated the annual Salvation Army Shopping Spree, which allows children and their families to shop for school clothing and other necessities at local stores in Santa Monica, Calif. This year, Seaver College students participated in all aspects of this initiative at the Sears store in Los Angeles, from providing check-in support to serving breakfast, and even assisting as chaperone shoppers.
Pepperdine's MBA Challenge For Charity (C4C) held a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for children at the Children's Lifesaving Foundation on November 19. The nonprofit 501(c)3 organization draws on the talents, energy, and resources of MBAs from nine West Coast business schools (Pepperdine, Stanford, USC, UCD, UCI, UCLA, USF, UC Berkeley, and the University of Washington) to raise funds and volunteer for the Special Olympics and other charities throughout the year.
Working with the nonprofit organization People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), the Graziadio School staff held a drive to collect kitchenware and supplies for a once-homeless veteran and his family who were recently placed in an apartment by the organization. Like many families living in Los Angeles, homelessness came very suddenly for this family, who moved around, desperate to find a home before coming across PATH's HUD-VASH program in July of 2013. Within three months, they moved into their new home. However, individuals transitioning into permanent housing often do not have the basic items to necessary to make a house a home. The drive helped PATH collect household items for the family, including kitchen trash bags, pots and pans, brooms and mops, and utensils.
In addition, for each person who registers for the next Dean's Executive Leadership Series lecture on Thursday, Jan. 16, featuring Richard Cordova, the president and CEO of Children's Hospital Los Angeles,the Graziadio School will donate the $20 admission fee towards the purchase of Toys "R" Us and iTunes gift cards for the children of the hospital.
The Pepperdine Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, a group of student-athletes dedicated to extending their academic and athletic experience beyond their roles at Pepperdine, participated in "Operation Christmas Child," an extension of Samaritan's Purse that works with local churches and ministry partners to deliver the gifts and share the life-changing Good News of Jesus Christ. They delivered boxes to Malibu Presbyterian Church. Through Operation Christmas Child, individuals, families and groups fill empty shoeboxes with gifts of toys, school supplies, hygiene items and notes of encouragement. During National Collection Week, Nov. 18-25, 2013, Samaritan's Purse collects the gift-filled shoeboxes at more than 3,500 drop-off sites in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.