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Students Wrap Gifts At Howard’s Annual Bison Holiday Give Back

[Student volunteers wrapping multiple items while Christmas music plays in the background. Photo by Sariah Adams]

The HU Chapel Assistants led the way by hosting a wrapping party as part of Howard University’s annual Bison Holiday Give Back, a program dedicated to gifting children presents during the holiday season. 

On Dec. 4, the wrapping party took place at Howard University’s graduate school located on 4th St NW & College St NW and was attended by volunteers across multiple student organizations. Inside the building, the wrapping party consisted of three floors; on the first floor were snacks and refreshments for those participating, and the second and third floors of the building were dedicated to wrapping the many gifts donated by the Howard student organizations. 

For about 3 hours, around 90 registrants made up of faculty, students and staff wrapped toys such as lego sets, dolls, journals and board games.

Formerly named Angel Giving Tree, the Bison Holiday Give Back is an annual program under the Office of the Dean of the Chapel that begins collecting gifts from late October to early November and continues with the wrapping party in early December before concluding mid-December with the distribution of the presents to schools within the D.C. community done by the Chapel staff. 

The purpose of the program is to distribute presents to children whose families don’t have enough money to buy gifts in time for the holiday season. This year, the Bison Holiday Give Back program expanded its reach to local communities and D.C.-based organizations.

[Student volunteers wrapping items while Christmas music plays in the background. Photo by Sariah Adams]

President of Chapel Assistants, junior Monica Moore said, “Not only did students donate and work to go get these gifts, but they were also more than willing to show up and to actually volunteer and diligently wrap these gifts for the past two and a half hours, and they’ve been excited and happy the whole time.”

Co-community service chair for Chapel Assistants, sophomore Sierra Williamson spoke on what she believes to be the necessity of Howard’s presence within the D.C. community. 

“We’re in our 23rd year of doing the Bison Holiday Give Back and I think it just comes back to truth and service,” Williamson said. “We need to make sure we’re giving back to our community. It shows what Howard’s all about, what Chapel assistants are all about –really giving back to our community and providing that community service.” 

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Numerous Christmas songs played as the student volunteers wrapped the gifts together. Many of them were excited about the opportunity to give back to the community and were enthused about the importance of service and giving back throughout this holiday season.  

“A project like this is really important because we need to acknowledge the youth in the D.C. community, especially as Howard students. We come here and we have a goal to benefit the Black community and benefit marginalized groups,” junior Asha Anthony said, a legal communications major and political science minor from Mesa, Arizona. 

“So with a project like this, we’re showing younger students that live in DC that don’t have access to these presents and such that there’s someone out there that cares for them and there’s someone out there that’s looking out for them,” she said.

The Bison Holiday give back is one of many service projects that are organized under the Dean of the Chapel and led by students. Similar service events have taken place and will be taking place throughout the Spring 2023 semester.  

Copy edited by Nhandi Long-Shipman

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