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University hosts Dec. 24 event for local homeless

December 21, 2016
group portrait

University of Rochester Associate VP for Human Resources Tony Kinslow, seated, center, and Equal Opportunity Director Morgan Levy, second from right, pose for a photo with siblings, left to right, Joshua West – 9; Jeremiah West – 11; and Jordan West – 6 of the philanthropic group Champions of Change. (University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

On Saturday, Dec. 24, the University of Rochester will host and sponsor Champions of Change’s Homeless Holiday Celebration. This celebration at the Staybridge Suites Rochester University will provide a free hot meal, hygiene bags, dental packs (donated by Jordan Health), haircuts, and hooded sweatshirts to more than 100 men and women who live under the Rundel Library in downtown Rochester.

Champions of Change, Inc. is a Rochester-based organization established by brothers Jeremiah and Joshua West—8 and 6 years old respectively when they started it—who are young social entrepreneurs with a mission to empower youth of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds to serve as “change agents” in their communities. The Homeless Holiday Celebrations are events held each year in locations such as Rochester, Buffalo, and New York City.

“The University of Rochester is about impacting the community it serves. Providing hope and support to those less fortunate is an everyday part of our social responsibility,” says Janice Holland, Manager of Diversity and Inclusion and Community Engagement.

As part of the University’s sponsorship this year, Champions of Change will also provide transportation for the homeless from Rundel Library to Staybridge Suites where volunteers from throughout the University will be ready to provide help for the event.

The University has developed a partnership of care to support Champions of Change in the Rochester community. The University also partnered with the organization during its Filters for Flint Water Drive in January 2016 to help residents of Flint, Michigan with their public water crisis.

To learn more about Champions of Change’s work serving the people of Rochester, visit championsofchangeusa.org.

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