Help for holidays on the way

A wealth of ways to help those in need during the holiday season starts next week at UCCS.

Holiday Service Project 2010 starts with an Oct. 25 organizational meeting and will continue through Dec. 10.

At the Oct.13 Staff Council meeting, Sheryl Botts, program assistant, College of Letters Arts and Sciences, called for all interested UCCS staff to attend the first meeting of the Holiday Service Project committee, scheduled for 1 p.m. Oct. 25 in Columbine Hall Room 2036. She announced the project will run from Nov. 10 to Dec. 10 but volunteers are needed now to help organize the event.

Botts is accepting nominations for deserving UCCS staff, faculty and student families to receive assistance toward a joyful holiday. She said anyone on campus can nominate a family to be placed on a list of gift basket recipients. All nominations are confidential. Forms should be submitted to Botts by Oct. 27. To obtain a nomination form, contact Botts at  255-4074 or [email protected]

For more than 20 years, the UCCS Staff Council has spearheaded the Holiday Service Project, welcoming participation from individuals and encouraging departments and clubs to be involved. The first strategy used by the service project committee were Holidrop boxes in campus buildings for collecting food, clothing, toys and other goods to fill gift baskets for needy families. Containers for monetary donations appeared on information desks. In following years, the project came to include adopt a family and giving tree options.

The Holidrop boxes will be in building lobbies and hallways on Nov. 10. Unexpired canned and dry foods, new unwrapped toys, paper goods, and household cleaning products are welcome.

Departments, clubs, and individuals can adopt a family. Although confidentiality is maintained, the donors learn the age, gender, and number of members in the family adopted to assist in purchasing appropriate gifts. Often, families will provide clothing sizes and specific wish lists.

The giving trees will be placed in the University Center, UCCS Bookstore, University Hall, Main Hall and Columbine Hall. The trees are decorated with paper ornaments that identify gifts a parent, child or family desires. Individuals may take an ornament, purchase the gift indicated, and leave it in a Holidrop box or with a project committee member.

Any size donation is appreciated. Cash donation containers will be located in the following areas beginning Nov. 10: the Bursar’s Office, Bookstore, University Center information desk, Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Parking Department, Office of Financial Aid, College of Letters, Arts and Sciences dean’s office, Kraemer Family Library, Dwire Hall and Monarch campus housing. Money will be used to purchase gift cards, food and gifts. Checks can be made payable to Holiday Service Project.

Any member of the campus community is welcome at the Oct. 25 meeting, Botts said. Agenda items include locations for the Holidrop boxes, donation containers, and giving trees and volunteers to transport, sort, wrap or shop for presents.

For more information, contact Botts, 255-4074, [email protected] or Sherry McDonnell, accountant, College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, 255-4320 or [email protected].

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