Accounting Students Bring Joy to Needy Families

Volunteers from the Master's of Accountancy program and Beta Alpha Psi gather with gifts before deliverying them to the FHF Distribution Center.

For the second year in a row, graduate-level accountancy students in the School of Business helped area families enjoy the holiday season this year as part of The Palmetto Project’s Families Helping Families (FHF) Program.

Over the past several weeks, nearly all of the students in the Master’s of Accountancy program, along with several members of the Mu Beta chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, made donations, purchased and wrapped presents and/or helped to transport the donated gifts to the FHF distribution center.

Whitney Jewett, the Master’s of Accountancy student responsible for leading this effort, worked with Beta Alpha Psi officers, Matt Pierce (BS ’10, MS ’11) and Rebecca Shirer (BS ’10) to establish lists of gifts to be purchased by student volunteers during the early stages of the project.

After a few weeks of receiving gifts and donations, they planned a “wrapping party” for last Thursday evening during which other volunteers ensured that each gift was properly wrapped and labeled with the correct family member’s name.  Once wrapped, an SUV was packed full of goods and driven to the FHF distribution center in Mt. Pleasant.

While accountancy students do a variety of service projects, Jewett noted that this one was particularly successful because the amount of gifts and funds students donated allowed the families to receive above and beyond what the FHF recommended be purchased for them, including $75 gift cards for groceries.   She continued, “It was amazing how every student in the program wanted to be a part of this effort, even as many of them struggle to pay their own bills.” 

Master’s students Caroline Sydow, Jonathan Antonio and Molly Ryser wrap gifts for need families.

Beta Alpha Psi ( is an honorary organization founded in 1919 for financial information students and professionals. The primary objective of Beta Alpha Psi is to encourage and give recognition to scholastic and professional excellence in the business information field. This includes promoting the study and practice of accounting, providing opportunities for self-development, service and association among members and practicing professionals, and encouraging a sense of ethical, social, and public responsibility. The Mu Beta Chapter was installed at the College of Charleston in September 2008.  The Chapter’s current faculty advisor is Dr. Dana Garner.

The Palmetto Project ( is a catalyst for innovation. Through special partnerships with governments, businesses, civic groups, schools, and religious organizations, it strives to bring a fresh, entrepreneurial spirit to the challenge of building successful communities in a great state.

The Families Helping Families 2010 (FHF) program
( is a partnership directed by The Palmetto Project that brings together the generosity of local families, churches, businesses and community groups to help area families in need. In 2009, the FHF Holiday Programs helped over 2,400 families have a more joyous holiday season.

About the School of Business

College of Charleston’s School of Business offers five undergraduate programs, an honors program, an M.S. in Accountancy and an MBA.  Approximately 1800 undergraduate and graduate students attend from as far away as China, Germany and Brazil. The faculty has research expertise in areas such as global logistics, hospitality and tourism, political economics, financial investment, bankruptcy, business intelligence, and sustainable business practices. Visit our School of Business website to learn more about our undergraduate and graduate programs, faculty and Centers of Excellence.

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