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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 22, 1999)
Community reaches out to help others
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WHILE THE REST of her family builds and sands wooden blocks, young
Meaghan Muehling spends some time playing with the newly made toys.
By Tina Hargens
The holidays are a time for giving,
not just to your close friends and fam
ily but also to the less fortunate.
The University of Nebraska
Lincoln and community members are
working to help every family have a
happy holiday season.
Several organizations on campus
have already set up clothing drives,
and others are planning to start their
projects next week. The clothing, toys
and food items will be given to area
charities such as the Salvation Army
and the Make a Wish Foundation.
“Each organization does some
thing a little different,” said Erin
Fujan, a junior agribusiness major
from Phi Mu Sorority. “There are so
many charities that need help, it
would be impossible to name them
Phi Mu is joining Alpha Chi
Omega Sorority to organize the Third
Annual Christmas Tour of Homes.
Every UNL sorority is invited to
participate by decorating the first
floors of the houses. On Dec. 5, com
munity members can buy tickets to
tour the homes. All proceeds will go
to the Children’s Miracle Network or
the Rape and Spouse Abuse Crisis
Other UNL organizations are also
planning projects for charities.
Elizabeth Ormsby, vice president
of the Residence Hall Association,
said several residence halls are having
canned food drives in their lobbies.
During the last week of November,
the Harper-Schramm-Smith Complex
and Sandoz Residence Hall will have
bins to collect the food.
Ormsby said RHA is working
with the Student Impact Team to
sponsor the Angel Tree project.
Community members and stu
dents are given the opportunity to pick
up a tag with a gender and age of a
child at the Nebraska Union.
Participants can buy gifts that cost
between $ 10 and S15 and return them
by Dec. 18. The gifts will be taken to
the Salvation Army until a toy store is
set up where parents, who normally
wouldn’t be able to afford toys, can
pick out items for their children.
Jodi Harper, chairwoman of the
Student Impact Team, said the
Association of Students at the
University of Nebraska has joined the
“Working with ASUN gives us a
chance to reach more students,”
Harper said. “We are always looking
Harper said those students inter
ested in handing out tags can contact
Community organizations and
businesses are doing their part to help
out fellow community members dur
ing the holiday season.
The Lincoln Police Department is
collecting merchandise from area
businesses to be auctioned. The pro
ceeds will be used buy toys, food bas
ASUNgives us a
chance to reach
more students. We
are always looking
Student Impact Team
kets and other items for families in
Lincoln who cannot afford the items.
The police department also
worked with the Home Builders
Association of Lincoln to build toys
for needy children.
The association invited communi
ty members and their families to
attend the Builders Blocks workshop
held Saturday at Lincoln Northeast
During the workshop, participants
built and painted wooden boxes filled
with blocks. Other toys, such as bird
houses and gingerbread men, were
Nadine Condello, executive vice
president of the association, said the
workshop was a great opportunity for
community members to spend time
with their families and help those less
fortunate at the same time.
affects many people
By Margaret Behm
Winter break is a break for many
. students from the worries of class,
grades and university life, but for some
students the break can be an introduc
tion to family problems, loneliness and
Local counselors said depression^
has many causes, and it can be hard to
trace those to one specific time period,
such as the winter holidays.
“Students will have more free time
during die holidays,” said University of
Psychologist Marty Ramirez. “This
may cause them to notice issues they
were too busy to notice before.”
Students can also become stressed
because they do not know how to deal
with upsetting holiday situations,
“We encourage students to seek any
necessary help wherever they are during
the holidays if they become stressed or
depressed,” Ramirez said.
Another cause for depression this
time of year - Seasonal Affective
Disorder - is not caused by personal
problems but by exposure to less sun
light, Ramirez said.
Support groups, such as Recovery
Incorporated through Westminster
Presbyterian Church, are an affordable
way for students to seek help.—
“If students come early in their life,
then they can avoid spending their
whole life suffering from extreme
symptoms,” said Barbara Fox, a mem
ber and former leader of Recovery
Steve Bivins is an emergency ser
vice worker at the Community Mental
Center of Lancaster County, 2200 St.
Mary’s Ave., where people can call if
they need help.
He has noticed that calls to the cen
ter increase during the holidays.
“We get more calls during the holi
days,” said Bivins. “But there are more
people doing less, and I don’t know if
you can correlate it to more depression
or more free time.”
Students who want to find out about
depression can turn to the University
Health Center for assistance.
“We like students to come in and
visit with us about their stress,” Ramirez
said. “Then we can figure out if it is a
serious problem that needs treatment.”
Students can take a 10-question
quiz at the health center that determines
if they are suffering from depression,
Bivins encourages people to be
aware of the warning signs of depres
The main warning signs are loss of
appetite, not sleeping well and lack of
ability to focus, Bivins said.
The difference between being sad
and depressed is the length of time you
have endured the grief, Bivins said.
“In general, sadness is a short dura
tion process,” Bivins said. “If it lasts a
couple of weeks or longer, and it’s
impeding on your life, you need to get it
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