With the holiday season upon us, the Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning (CCESL) has launched its annual holiday gift drive to provide much needed items to families who may be struggling financially in the Geneva area. This year, the gift drive is targeting the area’s preschool population through Head Start and ABCD (Agri-Business Child Development).
The program has been successful since its start in 2004. The event usually generates enough donations for 80 children and family members. Last year, CCESL estimated the total value of donations collected to be $6,240.
“We’ve had extremely generous campus and community donations for many years,” says CCESL Assistant Director Jeremy Wattles.
Students and faculty can make either cash or gift donations. Cash donations usually range between $40 and $50 per child, but the coordinators are appreciative of any amount. Donations can be delivered to the CCESL office in 203 Trinity Hall by Tuesday, Dec. 3.
Gift donations from the “wish list,” which was recently e-mailed to the HWS community, can also be delivered to the CCESL office by Thursday, Dec. 5. Students and faculty wishing to donate can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, indicating which child or family that would like to sponsor. Several clothing and “need” items are listed for each family, such as winter jackets, as well as other “fun and practical” gifts like dolls and puzzles.
“I hope the event brings together our campus community by recognizing that we are fortunate and that we can always give a little bit back to the community,” Wattles says. “I also hope that these gifts will contribute to some of Geneva’s children having a happy holiday, while also providing for some of their needs.”
CCESL is also collecting items for the Community Lunch Program. A wish list of items for the program was included in the e-mail sent the HWS community with information on the Holiday Gift Drive. Items on the wish list include dish towels, plastic wrap, spices, eggs, and trash bags, among others. Donations for the Community Lunch Program can be delivered to CCESL by Thursday, Dec. 5.