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SXU's GSM Gives Back During COVID-19 Pandemic


Saint Xavier University (SXU) continues to come together to give back to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Faculty and alumni from the Graham School of Management (GSM) have been working hard to benefit those in need and put much-needed smiles on the faces of heroic first responders. 

Suzanne Cromlish, Ph.D., GSM professor, and her husband, Dave, also known as the "The Chirpys" due to their love of birds and dressing alike (especially in SXU apparel!), recently made Easter basket donations to emergency rooms, hospitals, fire departments, ambulance drivers and police officers.

"Our motivation is bringing joy to others and experiencing the Biblical true joy of giving as exemplified by Jesus' life and his service to others. Both of our fathers were ministers, and we grew up with church being an integral part of our lives, which is one of the reasons we love the SXU core values so much," said Cromlish.

Over 25 years ago, the Cromlishes began shopping the day after holidays and stocking up on discount purchases to use as donations. They pay special attention to the date on food items to ensure they are safe and drive all over the country to purchase the items they donate. It has become a hobby to them, and they keep an entire room at home to store and wrap their donation gifts. 

"The joy of giving to others and seeing their smiles is priceless. We give presents to our doctors, mail and delivery personnel, dive-through attendants and trash collectors," said Cromlish. "Those who are unable to leave the house right now can still make virtual donations and give gift cards to grocery stores or services like Grub Hub. Anything helps, and bringing joy to others is the best experience one can have!"

Like Cromlish, alum Ruben Saavedra '19, a marketing and management graduate, finds the SXU core values to be an integral part of his actions. Saavedra organized an emergency food drive to feed 500 families in need, contacting grocers to donate perishables and community partners, friends and family to pack and distribute groceries.

"The service to my community is about more than food. It is about respect, compassion and service, all core values of SXU," said Saavedra.

With nearly one-third of Chicago-area food pantries closed because of the pandemic, the demand for food has increased tremendously, especially in harder-hit areas like Chicago's Southside. Saavedra planned his drive on behalf of a local non-profit, the Brianna Arias Youth Center, an organization that supports youths through mentorship, education and athletics.

"The community has done so much for me, and giving back is the least I can do. Hunger knows no borders. Those who are not able to be there in person can contribute by making a donation online. We can bring hope to many people in need," said Saavedra.

SXU is proud of the support and contributions its faculty, staff, students and alumni continue to offer to the community during this difficult time. Their true dedication to our mission and core values is incredibly inspiring.