Gifts from Home as UBC Okanagan Students Prep for Finals

Vanessa Lavalley, left, a second-year  Bachelor of Management student from  Calgary who lives on-campus at UBC  Okanagan, receives her final exam  care package from Residence Coordinator  Kim Colangelo.

Vanessa Lavalley, left, a second-year Bachelor of Management student from Calgary who lives on-campus at UBC Okanagan, receives her final exam care package from Residence Coordinator Kim Colangelo.

Students living in residence at UBC Okanagan received an extra bit of encouragement from home as they prepared for Term 1 final exams this week.

The university is home away from home for about 825 students living in student residence buildings on campus. At the beginning of November, staff at the residence office contacted all the families, offering a $30 exam care package to be delivered just in time for exam week, with $10 per package going to the UBC Okanagan United Way Campaign.

Residence Coordinator Kim Colangelo said the response was overwhelming. More than 150 families from across Canada and the U.S. bought the care packages – brightly-coloured bags loaded with school supplies, exam study tips, toiletries, healthy snacks, vitamin-C lozenges, and – yes – packages of macaroni and cheese.

"We ended up spending about $20 per package – and we raised $1,500 for the UBC Okanagan United Way Campaign," Colangelo said.

Fund-raising for charity was rewarding, but so was seeing happy students receiving their gift bags from home, and hearing from all those families, said Colangelo.

"Parents want to send this kind of thing, but it's expensive to mail," she said. "We had a lot of thank-you cards from parents. It was a total surprise for the students – we gave parents an opportunity to include a note in each package, and almost everyone did."

Exams continue at UBC Okanagan through Dec. 19.

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