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Student-Athletes Help Bring Christmas to Local Community

Women's Ice Hockey

Women's Ice Hockey

Dec. 14, 2011

Boston College’s varsity student-athletes stopped by the Shea Room today to wrap presents for the children they adopted as part of the athletics Adopt-a-Child Christmas program.         

The gift wrapping, one of the biggest athletics service events of the year, was the final stage of a project that saw every team raise money to buy gifts for the children they sponsored. Fifty-six kids will receive presents this holiday season because of their efforts.         

“For these kids, kids who wouldn’t otherwise have something to open, it’s just going to make their day that much better,” said senior Kevin Melnick, a member of the men’s golf team and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) vice president of community service.

With Christmas music playing in the background, teams came together to wrap presents and give back to less fortunate families in the community surrounding BC.         

“Just getting even one of these presents for one of the kids will make their Christmas that much better because they’ll know that other people care about them,” said junior baseball player Koury Hajjar.  

“It’s just a fun way to give back to children who need presents for Christmas,” added senior softball player Brittany Wilkins.          


Many teams were able to go shopping to pick out clothes and toys for their kids based on the wish lists they were given. This experience gave them the chance “to bond over something that’s equally important as something that happens on the court,” said Melnick.          

While the members of the golf team weren’t able to get their child the iPod he wanted, they were thrilled to be able to get him gifts like clothes, which he really needed. 

“Although we weren’t able to get everything he wanted, we had a great time finding out what he could possibly want and what he would be excited to open,” said senior Kyle McCartan, the golf team’s captain and SAAC president.         

A few members of the sailing team stopped by Target over the weekend to buy gifts for their two adopted children. One of them asked for clothes and educational toys, and they ended up granting his wish by getting him shirts, a 3D puzzle and scrabble. Senior Caroline Quincy was impressed that this child asked for practical gifts.        

“The fact that he’s really concerned about his education really stood out to me,” the SAAC board member said.          

This event has only gotten bigger over the years. Usually held in the student-athlete lounge, it was moved to the Shea Room this year because more than half of BC’s student-athletes participate, along with much of the BC Athletic Department staff. The entire Boston College community participates in giving gifts, as the human resources department collects them as a whole for the college.       

“It’s probably our biggest and most far-reaching event,” McCartan said.        

Athletics Director Gene DeFilippo was also on hand. Supporting three kids by himself, he dropped by to wrap his presents and mingle with the student-athletes.

“It’s pretty awesome that Coach Flip is sitting down there wrapping presents with us working towards a common goal,” McCartan said.  

In the end, the event was a huge success, helping to brighten the days of 56 children and bring the BC athletics family together.

“It’s nice to see what we’ve done as a whole and see all the athletes, admissions and faculty come together,” said senior Heather Garcia, a member of the cross country and track and field teams and a SAAC board member. 

Written by Jen Dobias