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'SA Cares' Initiative Harnesses Generosity and Dedication of UAlbany Students

Student Association Project Helps Families in Need During the Holidays

UAlbany students are giving back to families in need during the Holidays.

UAlbany students are helping families in need during the Holidays. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

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ALBANY, N.Y. (November 29, 2010) --

UAlbany's Student Association is harnessing the generosity and dedication of the student body to advance important community service projects through a new program called 'SA Cares.' For its first endeavor of the holiday season, 'SA Cares' is partnering with the Albany-based Center for Family and Youth to provide clothing, food and toys for at-risk children and families during the holidays.

The Center, which serves families throughout the Capital Region, helps children who are faced with serious problems at home, in school, and in the community. 'SA Cares' will be placing decorated boxes for donations around campus, through tabling, or at local businesses. In December, the Student Association will travel around campus collecting toys to aid needy families.

"UAlbany students are dedicated to improving the world around them," said University at Albany President George M. Philip. "I congratulate the Student Association on this important endeavor and look forward to partnering with them to help communities in need."

"With a struggling economy and so many people simply trying to stay afloat, it has been an especially difficult year for families and children in need in 2010," said David Bosworth, Executive Director of the Center for Family and Youth. "We are extremely thankful for the support and kindness of the students of the University at Albany, who have expressed a strong desire to assist those less fortunate than them."

Hannah Sames of Rexford N.Y.

The Student Association recently led UAlbany efforts to support Hannah Sames, a 6-year-old from Rexford, N.Y. who suffers with giant axonal neuropathy. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

"'SA Cares' is an important part of the work that the Student Association does to give back to the community both on and off campus," said Student Association President Justin Wax-Jacobs. "Considering the difficult circumstances many area children face every day, it is only right that UAlbany comes together to help make a difference at this time of year."

The 'SA Cares' program developed in part out of the relief efforts that followed the devastating Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake that left an estimated 220,000 dead and one million homeless in Haiti. The Student Association raised funds and donated clothing to the cause. In the fall, UAlbany students took to the streets to help clean up the City of Albany's midtown area. The effort was aimed at improving the quality of life in the Pine Hills neighborhood of Albany, as well as trying to improve community relations between the students and the permanent residents that live in the neighborhood. The UAlbany community also came together to rally behind Hannah Sames, a 6-year-old from Rexford, N.Y. who suffers with giant axonal neuropathy (GAN). The community helped to push the Hannah's Hope Fund in a national competition for a $250,000 grant through the Pepsi Refresh Project. These efforts, spearheaded by the Student Association, became the stimulus for the formation of 'SA Cares.'

"We hope students can get a sense of service and responsibility to the community through their participation in the program," continued Wax-Jacobs. "We also hope that others will see us as partners. UAlbany students care deeply about the world around us, and we are dedicated to improving the communities in which we live."

The Student Association of the State University of New York at Albany, Inc. ("Student Association") provides opportunities for students to become engaged by serving the University and the community at large with campus-wide initiatives and empowers student organizations and University at Albany students to help enrich and reap the benefits of the undergraduate experience.

To learn more about other opportunities where you can make a World of Difference, visit UAlbany’s Community Connections.

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