Whether it's Diwali, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, St. Nicholas Day, Solstice, Bodhi, Weihnachten, or Christmas, all of these cultural celebrations bring out in us the desire to help others and to give back. During the 2019 holiday season, The Office of International Affairs decided to give back, with a side dish of competition.
"We have a Social Committee for the Office of International Affairs that promotes camaraderie and encourages interactions among our staff that go beyond our professional work together. This year, the Social Committee organized cross-unit teams to collect donations for the Texas Tech Food Pantry. You could feel the energy across the Office – every staff member got into the spirit and wanted to truly help to make the season bright," said Sukant Misra, Vice Provost for International Affairs.
"It was fun, and we had an overwhelming response," noted Elizabeth Carroll, Social Committee chair. "The boxes of food created a visual in the office that acted as a constant reminder of what we could do. The competition across the teams gave that extra push to reach our goal, but in the end, there is no wrong way to give back this holiday season."
On Friday morning, December 20, The Office of International Affairs delivered more than 1,500 pounds of food items to the TTU Food Pantry. The winning team, made up of the OIA's Administration and Finance Unit partnered with the Study Abroad staff, got even more into the spirit of giving. As the team wrapped up the most pounds of goodies, they were promised a holiday treat to celebrate, but rather than bask in their success, they opted to share their winnings with the entire office.
"It's hard to know who the real winners are," said Reagan Ribordy, Director, International Programs. "The students who sometimes need just a hand up, not a hand out, win; the team who collected the most items were victorious in the competition; the entire office staff shares the victory of giving back. Perhaps most telling, though, is that each of us, as individuals, experienced that joy of giving together to others and making the world just a little bit better."