Giving Back

The holiday season is here again, and that means its time to give back. Students are encouraged to volunteer during their winter break as more people are in need than ever before. “Holiday time is a great time to get a sense of giving back,” explained University of Hartford’s Director of Community Services Matthew Blocker. “Everyone needs that extra help during the holiday season.”
There are many places students can go to help out both on campus and off. St. Vincent De Paul’s Place in Middletown, CT serves as a soup kitchen more than 360 days out of the year and is always in need of volunteers. “An individual could always show up pretty much any time that we’re open and say they’d like to help,” says Ron Krom, who currently acts as the Executive Director at St. Vincent De Paul’s Place.
Krom also noted that the holidays aren’t the only time that many soup kitchens and food pantries around the state are in need of help. “For students, especially, who have a longer break,” Krom said, “I’d encourage people to think of us on the 4th or 5th of January as much as on the 25th of December.”
The tough economy has only increased the need for help during this time of the year.”A lot more people are unemployed,” stated Blocker, “which put a lot of families in difficult situations that they didn’t expect.” According to Krom, the Amazing Grace food pantry, which is affiliated with St. Vincent De Paul, has seen a 30 percent increase in the last year alone. “We’ve never had that level of increase before,” he added.
Students who can’t find time to go out and volunteer this holiday season are encouraged to contribute in other ways. Donations are always welcome and can be given by visiting:
For more information about volunteer opportunities you can visit: or go to their office located on the second floor of Gengras Student Union (Room 209).