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ULM students provide happy holidays for senior citizens

Published December 20, 2013

Freshmen at the University of Louisiana at Monroe are making a happier holiday for many homebound senior citizens in Ouachita Parish by providing over 1,400 canned goods to an empty Ouachita Council on Aging (OCA) pantry and sending care packages to seniors in need.

Photo of students
ULM students Bryson Belaire and Morgan May prepare
care packages for the Ouachita Council on Aging.

Over 1,000 students in the freshman class are part of the “University Seminar 1001” course, designed to help students in the academic and social transition from high school to college.

During the course, students participate in a community service project..

“I’d always wanted to give back,” said Kelsey Welch, a peer leader that is back to help this year’s class. “It’s a huge deal in my life.”

Welch said that in addition to collecting canned goods, the class sponsors 70 homebound senior citizens that benefit from the “Meals on Wheels” daily meal program sponsored by the OCA.

The students collect items and then prepare a care basket of snacks, household goods, fans, and other goodies to be delivered.

The ULM freshmen class has partnered with the Ouachita Council on Aging for the past five years to make a tremendous impact on senior citizens in this community. 

As part of the community project, the students also sponsor a raffle of a quilt. Each year the project has netted about $1,000. Most students that buy raffle tickets donate the ticket to OCA which will then give the prize to a senior citizen,

The community project not only helps the senior citizens in the area, the students benefit as well.

“It’s a cool experience to be involved in,” Welch said.

“This gives incoming students a chance to be involved right away.”