By Gillie Houston, Staff Writer
One of Hofstra's newest clubs seeks to improve the lives of financially and physically disadvantaged children by fulfilling their dreams. The recent startup was founded by freshman Alexandra Engelson at the beginning of the year as a way to improve the communities and lives of young people living with chronic disease and financial woes. The club also emphasizes aiding local children, in order to improve the local community and help people close to home, as all dream recipients live within 50 miles of campus.
The charitable club has already drawn in 20 active members who see the organization as a way to give back to the community and help improve someone's life in a small way. Adopt a Dream member Zoe Hoffmann says what drew her to the club was "the chance to help a kid, make their dream come true, and hopefully change their life for the better." She also went on to say that's what makes the club "is really inspirational because it's a group of young people trying to make a difference any way they can." Since the beginning of the year, Adopt a Dream has held multiple bake sales in the Student Center, raising hundreds of dollars for their current project, fulfilling the dream of a 10-year-old autistic boy named Norier. The child, who was raised by his aunt after his parents left him at a young age, has struggled with the challenges of autism his whole life. Due to financial circumstances, Norier hasn't celebrated a real Christmas in six years. His dream, which the club is hard at work on, is to have a true Christmas complete with tree, presents, and all the elements of an ideal Christmas celebration. The Adopt a Dream members hope to raise enough money to provide Norier with some of his favorite toys, such as Legos, and to give him the Christmas he never had growing up.
Aside from their bake sales, the club also put on their ‘Christmas Extravaganza' Monday afternoon at Hofstra USA. By charging admission to the event that was filled with Christmas games, competitions, and crafts, the organization was able to put all the proceeds towards their final goal, giving Norier his dream Christmas. Anyone who would like to donate to their cause, join the club, or simply learn more about their organization can attend their meetings every Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Roosevelt room 13. The remainder of the semester will be dedicated to putting together the rest of the pieces of the child's perfect Christmas.
Hoffmann says, "we know there's a lot of work left to do to fulfill this dream, but it will definitely be worth it in the end." As the Adopt a Dream slogan "Smile, love, give," implies, the philanthropic club aims to bring joy and love into the lives of disadvantaged children and hopefully give one very special 10-year-old a Christmas he could, for so long, only imagine.