Decking the IMU halls with boughs of holly and streams of golden fairy lights
Oh, the festive season is here- and in this school that is home to so many, this wonderful time of the year, laden with the smells of freshly baked apple-crumble baked to a golden crisp, a potful of warm custard, along with the sight of a 10-foot tall Christmas tree, and glass windows/doors/panels taking upon designs painstakingly designed, stenciled and snow-sprayed.
AMSA-IMU, the Christian Fellowship and Intra-Varsity Club collaborated in colossal red-and-gold themed fundraising event, aimed to benefit two beneficiaries, Precious Homes Orphanage and United Learning Centre from where 95 children were invited as guests for the Christmas Lunch.
Bringing the Christmas markets to campus, we have Christmas treats and knick-knacks from three booths manned by the semester one AMSA ambassadors, the Dream Bigger Reaching Out Committee, and lastly, the Intra-Varsity Club. The AMSA ambassador booth sold hot chocolate, apple crumble, and sought after the proposition of bring J-Co donuts to the chronically hungry IMU students, along with a “Mini Mailboxes” component where everyone can write a personal letter to the children of Precious Homes Orphanage.
The Dream Bigger Reaching Out booth aims to benefit the Burmese refugee children from the United Learning Centre, with the “You Still Want That?” garage sale selling unwanted items from the students and staff of IMU, and also from a local church. With a thrift-shop concept and interesting stuff labeled with price tags, who can resist dropping by? However, booth-head Jaspret Johal admitted to worrying about “not getting good responses, and making a loss instead. But on the first day, the response we got surprised us. Despite some hiccups, everything went so well”. The booth also has the “Constructing Care Packages” component, showcasing bags, wallets and watches bought for the children as presents that were given out to them during the lunch.
Lastly, the “We Knit You” booth by the Intra-Varsity Club’s had hand-crocheted merchandises with witty names such as “beef bacon”, “Elsa”, “lemon sherbet” and my person favourite with an Adventure Time reference, “lumpy space princess”. The side-booth that is cleverly alliterated “Care for Christmas Custard Cake?” has vanilla butter cake served with warm custard and an array of different toppings the customer can choose from.
On a Monday of the fortnight we also had semester-ones from the Christian Fellowship battling the rush-hour traffic and heading over to ULC to spread the Christmas cheer to the Burmese refugees with harmonized carols, and games (well, actually just the 19 year old semester ones getting bullied by the 7 year old children there).
As a splendid end to the Christmas fortnight, a lunch, along with an array of dazzling performances by the IMU choir club, IMU Dance Club, IMU Hellen Keller Society and IMU Catholic Society, allowing the guests to have a time of merriment and with a (exhale here) reprieve from their usual wake-up-go-to-class-try-not-to-sleep-in-class-eat-zhapfan routine.
We also had the opportunity to present the presents to the children! Remember the small bags and posh wallets we have been asking you to contribute to buy for the children? Every child’s eyes lighted up brighter than fairy lights when we distributed their gifts. The buzz of choosing which football team wallet they want was mixed with equal parts gratefulness. A huge thank you for your contributions!
Intra-Varsity Booth-head Hazwan Yuan found the event to be a “great way in this festive season to help the less fortunate, where the whole IMU community contributed no matter how big or small to put that smile on the children’s faces”
All in all everyone, especially the children, left with smiles wider than their filled bellies and the eagerness to usher in Christmas this year.