BIG RAPIDS - It's the season of giving. With the holidays just around the corner it's not surprising that the spirit of Christmas is rubbing off on everyone, even college students.
Krista Berg, Aimee Mishler, and Eric Roath are all third-year pharmacy students at Ferris State University. Despite paying rent and their tuition, they all still managed to find a way to give back this year.
These pharmacists-in-training went out and bought $100 of gifts and donated them to the Angel Tree Foundation through the Salvation Army.
Some of the toys and presents the trio purchased for the Savation Army’s Angel Tree Foundation. (Aimee Mishler photo)
From left, Aimee Mishler, Krista Berg and Eric Roath, three college students who decided to turn a health challenge into a charitable cause. (Aimee Mishler photo)
"I first started donating to this foundation when I was in middle school." Said Mishler.
Berg and Roath also did a lot of volunteer work over the years through the Salvation Army with their pharmaceutical fraternity, Kappa Psi.
The money for their contribution came from an agreement the three made at the start of the college semester.
At the beginning of the academic year, this trio made a pact to help each other stay on the fitness track. Each student was given a health-related goal that they vowed they wouldn't break.
Berg had daily calorie limit, Mishler had to stay away from sweets, and Roath had to work out five times per week (Sunday to Sunday). If one of them were to slip a cookie or calorie - or two - they were required to put a dollar into a jar. When the semester ended, they counted up their money and realized that maybe they had slipped once or twice.
The money totaled out to be $94. Instead of blowing the money, they decided to give back.
"It's kind of like evening out my karma. After breaking the rules all year long, we get to do something a little good for a change," Roath said.
"Since we were ending our little agreement right in time for the holidays, we wanted to give the money we raised to a holiday-associated charity. Seeings how the Angel Tree is through the Salvation Army, it just all made since to donate to them," Roath said.
The Angel Tree the trio donated to is located in Grandville, Mich. They went together and each picked a tag off the tree. There were no names on the tags, but each person received a gender and an age of a child to buy gifts for.
"We ended up buying gifts for two 2-year-old girls and one 3-year-old boy." Said Mishler.
This act of generosity just goes to show that even though college students may spend their semesters pinching pennies or surviving on ramen noodles and instant macaroni and cheese, they still can find a way to give to those less fortunate.
"At the end of the day, it was worth sneaking a couple extra cookies to do something nice for the holidays," admitted Mishler.
Chelsey Roath's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.