Wackerlin Center partners with student to give back to the community

Chelsea Chandler displaying the items she donated to Hesed House last year

Chelsea Chandler, AU '15, displays some of the 700 items she collected last year for Hesed House, a local homeless shelter. This holiday season, she is working with the Wackerlin Center to collect more than 900 items to benefit the shelter's residents.

With the holiday season well under way, many organizations and individuals are trying to help the less fortunate. Senior Chelsea Chandler is one example of how the AU community continues its commitment to work for the greater good. Last year, Chandler helped organize “Hope for the Homeless,” a collection drive for the homeless in the Aurora area. In collaboration with the Oswegoland Park District, friends and family, she was able to collect more than 700 items to donate to Hesed House, the second largest shelter in the state of Illinois whose mission is to feed the hungry and help the less fortunate.

This year, the Wackerlin Center for Faith and Action at Aurora University will sponsor Chandler in her desire to help the homeless and surpass last year’s number of items. “I live by the quote: ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world,’” said Chandler. “It means so much to have AU support me.”

Chandler wants to collect more than 900 items by Friday, December 6, for Hesed House. In order to accomplish this goal, the Wackerlin Center is sponsoring a friendly competition among AU departments and offices, including the Office of Admission and Financial Aid, Office of Advancement, Campus Public Safety, Community Relations Office, Crouse Center for Student Success and Office of Residence Life, among others.

“Each of us at the Wackerlin Center believes in the work of Hesed House,”  said Barb Calvert, Director of Programming for the Wackerlin Center. “Throughout the year we work to support such organizations by providing opportunities for students to take action. We welcome activities that bring people together to make a positive difference in the lives of others.”

Donation boxes are located in offices throughout the campus. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to help donate needed items. Items being requested include combs, hair brushes, facial tissues, baby oil, baby wipes, oral hygiene products, shampoo, body wash, skin care products, bath towels, wash cloths, shoe laces, twin bed sheets, laundry detergent, hats, gloves and scarves.

Chandler had previously participated in Sleep Out in the Quad, and has always enjoyed giving back to the community. “I am blessed to attend a university that supports my passions,” said Chandler. “I cannot express how grateful I am.”