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SEPTEMBER 2010 UPDATE HOME
More September Features:

Research aided by Fellows program
Professors introduce local election
U of M tailgaters recycle
Theatrical group
Cash builds a firm foundation
Chando sees 'different' side of U of M
Lockhart locks in honor
Wright-Savage lauded
Adopt an Angel
Names in the news

VIEW UPDATE ARCHIVE


September 2010 Briefs

Washington Monthly magazine has listed the University of Memphis among the top 100 schools in its 2010 universities rankings. The U of M comes in at No. 100, right behind the State University of New York at Stony Brook and the University of Connecticut, and ahead of the University of Massachusetts, Boston University and the University of Tennessee. 

Dr. Joan Thomas, associate professor in the University of Memphis’ Loewenberg School of Nursing, has received a grant of $787,696 from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to prepare future nurse executives. The three-year award is one of the largest HRSA grants ever received at the U of M. 


For More Information:
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Earn your wings and help the less fortunate: Adopt an Angel today

By Greg Russell

For the past 20 years, Sheila Hall and her Loewenberg School of Nursing associates have toiled hundreds of hours to ensure a better holiday season for the less fortunate. This fall, she is asking for your help.

Hall has coordinated the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program since its inception on the University campus in the early 1990s. She estimates 2,000 children and elderly have been able to enjoy the holidays because of the generosity of those on campus. Only problem, the economy has taken its toll on the program.

“We generally have had well over 100 angels adopted every year from the beginning, and many times had considerably more than 100,” said Hall, Loewenberg School of Nursing Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. “The economy has presented challenges in the last few years, and we have dropped below 100 for several years.”

Hall said the Salvation Army told her “not to be discouraged because the economy has hit everyone.”

But the difficult economy has made it even tougher for those who already have little to make ends meet. Imagine being a child and having no gifts under the holiday tree, or an elderly person in a nursing home who has no loved ones to provide them with gifts. Knowing that others care can lessen the holiday blues that needy children and elderly endure each year.

The University community has come through in recent years, but can make an even more meaningful impact this fall.

With the 20th anniversary of the program, Hall is hoping more U of M departments and individuals take part, thus ensuring more kids and elderly will have gifts during the holidays.

The U of M has been hosting the Salvation Army Angel Tree program for 20 years. With the slumping economy, the number of adopted Angels is down, but coordinator Sheila Hall is hoping the on-campus Angel Tree program’;s 20th anniversary this fall will spur more departments and individuals to take part. Above, student Deidra Payne, Hall, student Britnee Gillum and Loewenberg School of Nursing office associate Anna Myers display gifts donated last fall. (photo by Lindsey Lissau)

The U of M has been hosting the Salvation Army Angel Tree program for 20 years. With the slumping economy, the number of adopted Angels is down, but coordinator Sheila Hall is hoping the on-campus Angel Tree program’s 20th anniversary this fall will spur more departments and individuals to take part. Above, student Deidra Payne, Hall, student Britnee Gillum and Loewenberg School of Nursing office associate Anna Myers display gifts donated last fall. (photo by Lindsey Lissau)

It is easy to help.

Angel Adoption order forms are being sent out campus-wide to departments and to those who adopted last year. A form is also available here. The deadline for an individual or department to sign up is Oct. 11. Those participating have a choice of adopting a child or senior citizen and male or female. 

Hall said the needy aren’t the only ones who benefit.

“The most shocking thing to me that first year was how faculty, staff and students all thanked us when they brought gifts to us on the collection day. We couldn’t understand why they were thanking us.  They were the ones who were adopting the angels and making the program successful. It finally occurred to us that they were thanking us for the experience that they felt we had provided them. They felt that they had received the greatest gift of all. Obviously, it is true — it is a greater blessing to give than to receive.”

Hall said the program allows participants a way to touch a life in a personal way.

“You realize when you receive your Angel Tree tag with the information about that child or senior citizen that you are now responsible for helping this human being in a very special way. It immediately becomes personal,” she said.

“We are very proud of the support we have continued to receive from the U of M family. Most offices that participate today are those who were with us that first year. They continue to come with smiling faces and hearts full of love for those less fortunate. 

Hall said she became interested in introducing the program to the U of M campus after her brother adopted an angel from the Salvation Army Angel Tree at a local shopping mall. She asked the Student Nurses Association to sponsor the on-campus program.

“My real goal was not only to help folks who needed help, but also to make the holiday season more meaningful for those in the U of M family who wanted to participate,” Hall said. “I had hoped that offices would come together as a group and adopt Angels instead of buying a lot of gifts for each other which nobody really needed. In the process, they would be drawn closer together in their offices by doing something for others, and we would become even stronger as a campus community. To my surprise, it worked! So many people told us how they got to know those in their office better and had a great time.”

 Hall said the program would never have continued to prosper “without supportive staff in the Loewenberg School of Nursing. Their support over the years and eagerness to help have made it all possible from an organizational perspective.

“Nothing gives me the holiday spirit like seeing those U of M faculty and staff bring gifts to us on Angel Tree day,” Hall said. “Heartfelt thanks to anyone who has ever participated in Angel Tree for the past 20 years. You have touched so many lives.”  

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