Springfield College Helps Families Through Annual Program

SPRINGFIELD — In a Springfield College holiday tradition, the Office of Spiritual Life staff led its annual adopt-a-family program, with the mission of helping neighboring families. Once again, members of the campus community worked together to make sure families from the Teen Living Program in Springfield received special gifts this holiday season. The Teen Living Program, run by Springfield-based Open Pantry Community Services, is a residential program for teenage mothers and their children who require a safe place to live.

This year’s adopt-a-family planning team was led by Amy Quenneville, who joined Springfield College graduate student Jonathan Perlow and Springfield College Director of Spiritual Life David McMahon in organizing this year’s program. Quenneville is a part of the campus community’s Project SEARCH initiative, which is a partnership with New England Business Associates that helps a cohort of interns gain valuable work experience through month-long internship rotations with a variety of departments and offices on campus.

“This truly is one of the most heartwarming initiatives I am involved in at Springfield College,” Quenneville said. “We wanted to make sure we were able to help families in our community, and so many special people on the campus helped make this program a success.”

Similar to previous years, the Springfield College campus community came together and assisted in making sure 26 families from the Teen Living Program had a holiday season to remember.

“It has been so heartwarming to see all of the gifts again this year, and it really means so much to all of the families,” said Teen Living Program Director Nicole Lussier, who earned her master of social work degree from Springfield College in 2000. “Every day, I feel like I am going to cry just looking at all of the gifts. It really does display that there are so many great people in our community, and at Springfield College.”

Overall, the adopt-a-family program is another example of students, faculty, and staff living our Humanics philosophy and directly getting involved in taking care of their neighbors in the city of Springfield.

“The impact this has on our families is so special,” Lussier added. “Many families in our program have never had the opportunity to receive gifts during the holidays, and being a part of this adopt-a-family program really reminds us all why we are all here, and it emphasizes why helping others is so very important.”