‘Tis the season for Salvation Army bell ringers, Secret Santa gift exchanges, church caroling and the list just seems to go on and on. Here at Bethel, the Christmas season is no different, and students tend to become even more involved in events surrounding the community. Although there are countless activities and events, there is one specific event done through Bethel that may not be quite as well known. Bethel is teaming up with local radio station B100 to put on the “Christmas Wishes” event this year. This event is one in which individuals’ volunteer someone they know for a Christmas wish. To learn more about the event, the Beacon interviewed James Lovaas, who is the director for Bethel’s Center for Professional Development. The event takes place through Lovaas’ department, the department of adult and graduate studies. “People are volunteering families or friends that have needs,” said Lovaas, “and then, as we get to the last couple weeks, B100 will go through and look for a couple families that they think stick out and that they think would be nice for Bethel to serve. Then we at adult and graduate studies will collect clothes or books or funds and put together a gift package so that not only we have our name with the event but there is a family that will be blessed by Bethel College Adult Studies during the holiday season.” According to Lovaas, the final decision on what familires to choose is made on Dec. 16. Lovaas also talked a bit about the background of this event. “As we planned a marketing plan and strategy for this department, beyond commercial, we wanted to be involved with events in the community that represent the college well and could offer some community service,” he said. “We were brainstorming and we just felt like it fit with who Bethel was, and this will now be our third year participating in the event.” This event is specifically sponsored by the department of adult and graduate studies, but how did the event became an event solely for that office? “On our campus, there’s lots of opportunities where our students do different activities,” said Lovaas, “but we as adult and graduate studies have not always been involved, so this was a chance to have our department doing something in the community beyond just enrollment and advising.” Although the event is derived from the Adult and Graduate studies office, Lovaas said that any student or group of students could easily become involved in the event. “If a group of students were interested, we’d be happy to take on additional help,” he said. “They always have more needs than we as adult and graduate studies can meet so if we’re able to go to B100 and say we can meet another family’s needs now, they would love it.” Below is a short audio clip of the “Christmas Wishes” program in action. Take a listen to what’s happening around the community this Christmas.