ODK plans holiday project

Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) the national leadership honor society, is collecting stuffed animals to brighten some children’s holidays.

The organization will attach the animals to donated books and forward these to the Seneca Fire Department for distribution to youngsters there. The original plan was intended for the organization, but Amber Hulstine, senior elementary education major and ODK secretary, suggested the group turn it into a campus-wide event, so anyone could donate.

“I hope people realize how important [this is], and how much they’re helping,” Hulstine said. “Even though they may not be able to see it happen, it’s going to mean a lot to somebody.”

Hulstine’s goal is to “overwhelm” Seneca with Missouri Southern’s generosity. Ashley Hendrix, an ODK member, is donating books to the cause, and it was Bobbi Lee, another ODK member, who suggested the location of Seneca.

“Sometimes people focus on bringing donations to the Joplin area, and the other smaller towns and communities get left out,” Hulstine said. “We’re going to go straight to Seneca, and if they get to where they have more than they need then we’ll start taking them to the smaller areas, like Carterville or Cassville.”

The collecting stage will run Nov. 27 through Dec. 8, with boxes placed at entrances to campus buildings and will be checked periodically. Currently, the event is in the preparation stages, but ODK anticipates warm results from the campus and Seneca firefighters. After ODK collects the animals, they will make one trip to Seneca and the firefighters will distribute the gifts to underprivileged children.

“It’s really going to go into full swing next week, so right now things are going pretty good,” Hulstine said. “We’re trying to get more community service because we realize that ODK isn’t as well known as we would like.”

According to Hulstine, ODK’s faculty advisers, Dr. Elaine Freeman and Dr. Michael Garoutte, are anxious for the event.

“They’re really supportive and they’re excited to be doing the community service as a campus-wide project,” said Hulstine. “As well as getting out ODK’s name and what we stand for.”