The John Carroll University community welcomed 85 children on Saturday to share in the magic of the holiday season.
Through the Eyes of a Child is an annual event in which children are able to participate in crafts, listen to a story, decorate cookies, watch a play, take a picture with Santa Claus and enjoy a Christmas lunch.
These children are paired up with a JCU student for the afternoon, and the students give them a present from the child’s Christmas wish list at the end of the day.
Through the Eyes of a Child is sponsored through Circle K, a service-oriented student organization. This is the 13th year that JCU has put on the program.
Over 150 JCU students donated their time and efforts to create a special Christmas experience for the second and third grade students of Buhrer Elementary in Cleveland.
“I feel that this is an important event for JCU students because it’s a chance for us to give back to our local community,” said junior Doug Walton, president of Circle K.
“Many of these children might not have the opportunity to have a nice Christmas celebration, so we try to provide that for them,” he said.
Through the Eyes of a Child received a positive response from the JCU community, as more students show interest in the event each year.
JCU students are given the opportunity to reach out as a role model and friend to a young inner-city child.
“I made the decision to participate because I thought of my five-year-old sister, and how much she would love something like Through the Eyes of a Child,” said junior Erin Borger.
Borger was one of Santa’s elves during the four hour event.
“The idea of making a child’s day by buying them a small gift and hanging out with them for a few hours was enough motivation for me,” she said.
Several student organizations also participated in Through the Eyes of a Child, including Delta Tau Delta and Alpha Kappa Psi.
Junior Ryan Schoonmaker ran one of the activities with fellow members of Christian Life Communities.
“I helped the children create a reindeer out of clothes pins, googly-eyes, pipe cleaners and ribbons,” said Schoonmaker.
“I really enjoyed being able to be with all of the children and just talk to them about their day, Christmas and sing Christmas songs with them,” he added.
Through the Eyes of a Child is one of the many events on campus that allows students to embody the full meaning of the Christmas spirit.
“Christmas time brings about a sense of compassion and giving, something very evident here at John Carroll through events like Through the Eyes of a Child,” said Borger.
She added, “My advice to all is to keep your Christmas heart open all year round.”