Sometimes it’s the small contributions that make a big impact. So this holiday season I’m responding to a request from my alma mater, the University of Toronto.
Requests from UofT
In a recent e-newsletter I saw 2 small requests as I scrolled to the bottom of the email. One from the International Students Centre asking for holiday hosts – folks who would open up their holiday festivities to some of the international students that remain on campus during the holidays.
“Help make this a happy holiday for a U of T international student”
The other was an intriguing initiative from the Alumni Office called Dinner with 12 Strangers. Requesting “Toronto-area grads to host an informal dinner party for a small group of students, as well as faculty, alumni and other members of the university community.”
“The premise: sit down to dinner with 12 strangers; get up with 12 new friends”
Cindy’s Holiday Dinner with 30 Strangers
So, in my endless quest for efficiencies, I combined the 2 programs with the full support of both groups at UofT and am hosting my own holiday dinner with 30 strangers – a combination of international students, a cross section of students interested in dining with strangers, a few alumni and other members of the UofT community, and a couple of my pals.
It’s a chance to share the Canadian holiday experience (or at least my version of it), exchange stories, make new connections and enjoy a good meal. It offsets the loneliness of the holiday season and makes the world a little smaller.
Check out your alma mater
The holiday hosting program has been in place for 30 years and the Dinner with 12 strangers happens throughout the year. Both programs as well established and well run. If you’re looking for a small way to make a big impact, check out what’s available at your school – the gift back will be greater than you can imagine.