Cougs give back

Underprivileged youth from the Palouse area can experience the Cougar spirit of giving as ASWSU hosts their second annual philanthropy event Cougs Give Back.

Michael Kamradt, director of the ASWSU Student Life Committee, said Cougs Give Back is an opportunity for students to “positively impact underprivileged families and simply give them a happy holiday.”

Originally based upon a giving tree concept, participating organizations will purchase gifts for underprivileged children in the area based on the child’s age and interests. The children receiving gifts this season were chosen at the discretion of Pullman Child Welfare.

These children’s families would be otherwise unable to give gifts to their children during the holidays, Kamdradt said.

Each child chosen is assigned a number in a directory to ensure privacy. From here participating organizations receive lists of children, including tags with some simple information about the child. Each tag has a monetary value of approximately $25, said Keenan Dolan, the assistant director of the ASWSU Student Life Committee.

Organizations participating in the event include about 40 registered student organizations (RSOs), including Greek chapters, Residence Hall Association, WSU Athletics department, and GIVE.

Junior Kenna Uddenberg, Panhellenic vice president of scholarships and services, member of Chi Omega and the vice president of GIVE, said she is excited for the opportunity for her chapter to give back to the community.

She said her sorority had previously participated in a Secret Santa gift exchange, but they decided to expand their goals to include Cougs Give Back.

Kamradt said, “We are really, really thankful for these groups to commit.”

As of now 250 gifts have been promised. ASWSU hopes to receive 300 gifts by the end of the event, Kamradt said.

Last year Cougs Give Back sent 215 gifts to local children, and it’s because of last year’s success that ASWSU is once again coordinating the program with Pullman Child Welfare, Kamradt said.

All RSO’s involved have until Friday to commit to giving gifts and until Dec. 5 to turn in their gifts. ASWSU will also be tabling at the Cub and committed RSO’s can turn in their gifts there.

“We really just want to the community to know that we are here for them,” Dolan said.

Those interested in helping with Cougs Give Back can contact Michael Kamradt at cougsgiveback@gmail.com.