Christian Union Caritas Distributes Care Packages
by tom campisi, managing editor
Caritas, Christian Union’s ministry to students at Stanford University, pumped life into “Dead Week” in early December.
Dead Week is a time of intense studying and reduced social and extracurricular activity preceding final examinations. In an effort to help reduce stress and bless fellow classmates, Christian Union Caritas delivered care packages to the dorm rooms of approximately 150 students. The packages contained candy, hot chocolate, stuffed animals, information about Christian Union, and a copy of Lee Strobel’s short book, The Case for Christmas.
“The goal of the outreach was to show God’s generosity and to get a brief and compelling Gospel presentation into students’ hands,” said Justin Woyak, a Christian Union ministry fellow at Stanford. “It was a huge success.”
A few weeks before the outreach, Caritas’ student leaders sent a mass e-mail through various student organizations, announcing the opportunity to receive the care packages. The signup list was limited to 150 students. That limit was reached in only 90 minutes.
When it came time to deliver the care packages on the Sunday and Monday of Dead Week, over a dozen students involved with Christian Union Caritas took several hours out of their study time to hand out packages to 20 dorms on campus.
“We had a great time assembling the packages together (and enjoying homemade cookies), but the real fun was delivering,” said Woyak. “A lot of the students expressed how joyful it was to knock on people’s doors and give them something free that would be enjoyed. Almost everyone who received a gift bag was so grateful.”
“I received several texts from people I had barely talked to previously, thanking me for the packages and describing how it made their week,” said Nathalie, a sophomore with a double major in economics and political science. “The recipients were incredibly grateful when they received their packages.”
“We wanted to show Christ’s love to Stanford students in a time of need, and also wanted to give people an easy pathway to learn about who Jesus is.”
Woyak commended Nathalie and the campus kindness team for their initiative, creativity, and hard work on the care package outreach. Likewise, Nathalie expressed appreciation for the leadership training she has received and the spiritual growth she has experienced through Christian Union Caritas.
“I cannot put into words the effect Christian Union has had on my college experience at Stanford." Click to Tweet "I came into Stanford unsure about my faith and my relationship with God. Christian Union gave me an immediate community of people who are striving towards and struggling with the same goals,” she said.
“Bible courses have helped me read God’s Word in an entirely new light, and other members have been such an integral part of my college life. Christian Union, more than anything, has been an amazing community, encouraging in my relationship with God, and reminding me of my value as a daughter of God.”