Thank you, NAU, for helping make holiday season special for families in need

volunteers wrapping gifts

Dec. 13, 2018

The Northern Arizona University Service Professional Advisory Council’s Adopt-a-Family program ended Thursday with volunteers coming together a final time for a wrap party, literally wrapping the dozens of donated gifts in preparation for a Christmas delivery.

More than 20 people participated this year to gather donations for two families with a total of seven children ranging from 2 to 14 years old. SPAC works with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul to identify local families in need and collect relevant information, including the ages of the children and any specific needs or wants.

Dan Stoffel, associate director of information tech services and member of SPAC, explained the impact this program can make when people work together.

“Two of the boys were really hoping for bicycles this year, and thanks to the incredible generosity of a number of serviceBikes donated through the Adopt-a-Family program professionals, as well as a great price from the wonderful people at Absolute Bikes, we were able to come through, with helmets as well.”

Other donations included skateboards, roller skates, clothing, toys, art supplies, headphones, a keyboard and school supplies. Also donated were gift cards to stores such as Walmart, Safeway and Harkins that the adults in the family can put toward things like presents for the children or a special holiday meal for the family.

Stoffel and Kirk Fitch, chair of SPAC and director of Clery compliance with the NAU Police Department, noted the generosity and cooperation of the NAU community during the holiday season and year-round.

“I think it’s great that both employee organizations on campus (CSAC and SPAC) work so closely together for the betterment of the NAU community,” Fitch said. “Both organizations raise funds and do service projects throughout the year. These projects include warm clothing drives, trail cleanups and scholarships and many other volunteer opportunities through the year.

“It would be easy to have advisory councils whose only purpose is to try to increase pay and benefits for their respective members, but here, I see employees who come together and try to make NAU and Flagstaff a better place to live.”

SPAC group photo


Cheyenne Jarrette