UNE students help brighten downtown Biddeford for the holidays

Biddeford holiday decorations
The Class of 2025 and Office of Citizenship and Civic Engagement decorated downtown Biddeford for the holidays

About 20 students from the University of New England recently fanned out in downtown Biddeford on a sunny Saturday morning to spread holiday cheer and brighten the holidays for residents and those less fortunate.

The event was held a bit earlier in the season this year, but students had no idea temperatures would be reaching near 70 degrees.

“It may not have been the exact holiday spirit that we're used to, but the weather was comfortable, and we had fun,” commented Libby Shea, president of UNE’s Class of 2025. “When I went out to purchase some of the donations for the gift packages last night, it just made me feel good in my heart that I was giving back to the community and doing something good to kick off the holiday season.”

The students hung holiday lights up and down Main Street and put together packages of personal care items for people in need. They joined members of Heart of Biddeford, an organization helping to foster a vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable downtown for residents, businesses, and visitors.

“We have a big presence here in Biddeford, so it is really important for UNE students to give back because the Biddeford community gives us so much,” Shea told NEWSCENTER Maine.  “It is important for us to show them that we really care, and, by giving back, I think that's the biggest way for us to show our appreciation for what they do for us.”

Gifts for the packages were donated by local businesses. Monetary donations were also given by individuals. The packages will be distributed by Seeds of Hope, a resource center that offers hospitality and support for those who are struggling in Biddeford and surrounding communities.

The event was sponsored by the Class of 2025 and UNE’s Office of Citizenship and Civic Engagement

Students hang holiday lights
Students string lights
Student prepare gift bags