APU Students and Volunteers Bring Christmas Joy to Senior Citizens

by Jaime Garispe '11

On December 8, APU students and other volunteers spread the holiday cheer through Angels Sing. Founded and directed by Lindsey Rehfeld, adjunct professor in the Center for Adult and Professional Studies, the program brings together volunteers to carol at senior citizens’ homes. This year’s involvement was record breaking with roughly 175 volunteers caroling at more than 100 homes.

“Not only do senior citizens benefit from the joy and holiday cheer brought by the caroling groups, but the volunteers benefit as well in meeting these individuals," said Hannah Danielson, intern at the Center for Academic Service-Learning and Research.

The program is affiliated with Visiting Angels, which provides in-home care for senior citizens who prefer care to be administered from the comfort of their own home. A group of 12 undergraduate students from the Principles of Organization and Management class helped facilitate the event that brought comfort to these individuals through songs.

Volunteers met the day of the event in Adams Hall and were split into groups. Each group caroled to five homes, spreading across La Verne, Covina, West Covina, Azusa, Glendora, Rancho Cucamonga, and other cities. Each volunteer received a caroling book, t-shirt, and five Ministry and Service (MAS) credits. After caroling at each home, the group presented the senior citizens with a miniature Christmas tree and Christmas ornaments.

"Working with Angels Sing was an awesome opportunity to get plugged into the community and serve the elderly," said junior business administration major Nick Sandhu. "Carolers came back with great stories, enjoyed the experiences they had, and could not wait for the opportunity to come around again. In a season that is focused on giving material things, it was awesome to see how much more valuable the gift of time was to the homes we visited."