NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y.—The sound of Christmas carols fills the room in the lower level of Gallagher Center as a small group of Niagara University students discuss the plan for the night. The students have smiles on their faces as they listen intently to the instructions given by NU’s Learn and Serve Director, Fran Boltz. The night is meant to be one of enjoyment for Rivershore, a local Lewiston community unlike others.
Boltz explains to the students that Rivershore is a not-for-profit organization which provides services, and a safe community, for adults with various disabilities. Members of Niagara University Community Action Program (NUCAP)—a board that plans events in which NU students can volunteer for—decided it would be beneficial to reach out to them and provide a special night out to the Niagara University men’s basketball game.
“Last year was my first year working with Rivershore … we usually plan a movie night and invite them,” says Emily Andrews, a sophomore accounting major and member of NUCAP board. The basketball night is a change of pace from previous events. According to Andrews, it’s nice to see members of the Rivershore community in a new, more lively setting.
“It just came to my mind to do a different type of volunteer activity,” says Eman Alabdulmuhsin, an accounting major in her first year of NU’s graduate MBA program. “It is nice to provide some help, even if it is just sitting next to them, having a nice chat during the game break, or cheering with them during the game. It is so great to see them among the crowd enjoying their time.”
Joy was the mission set forth for the night and it is evident the mission is being executed. Sitting in the stands, ears are filled with the sound of Rivershore members yelling, “Go Niagara!”, and one man in particular exclaiming his love for basketball. With happiness manifesting itself on their faces, in the form of broad smiles, Andrews’ words are made inexplicably true—even “the littlest thing can make them so happy!”
For more information on Rivershore and ways to support, please visit http://www.rivershore.org/ or call 716-754-7272.
-Alanna Cedrone, PRSSN