University News

Student Organizes Western Elves Project

November 7, 2013

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MACOMB, IL – When Western Illinois University management major Alex Johnson's Professor Steve Gray challenged his class to give back, Johnson took the message to heart and started thinking about ways he could help others. From that initial classroom challenge to the brainstorm that followed, Western Elves was born.

"It started out as an extra credit project, but I've already lost sight of any extra credit I could earn. I'm really doing this now to help out others," he said.

Johnson, a senior from Geneva, is the president of Inter-Hall Council and is the director of Camp Leatherneck 2013. Inter-Hall Council is co-sponsoring the project, which is designed to help individuals who are unable complete their holiday shopping themselves.

"Western Elves is a service for those who are unable to get out to do holiday shopping due to physical limitations, or even who have time limitations due to work and other obligations," Johnson explained.

Individuals interested in this free service simply have to contact Johnson and provide their wish list and funding to cover items on the list. Johnson and the other student "elves" will shop for the gifts and provide wrapping and delivery. While a one week notice is ideal, Johnson said that they will help out at a moment's notice.

Students who wish to volunteer as an "elf" and individuals interested in utilizing the service should contact Johnson at or (309) 428-6303.

"I look forward to helping people who really want to give to others during the holiday season, but are unable to get out themselves," he added.

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