Books and bears boost service project

Holiday Service Project 2010 is showing an early harvest of giving tree tags and a slow flow of cash donations, according to project organizers.

Adopted families number 29, and the drive is on to provide books and teddy bears for the children in those families.

Service  project co-chairs Sherry McDonnell, accountant, College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, and Sheryl Botts, program assistant, College of Letters Arts and Sciences, said they hope for last-minute donations that will help make a brighter holiday for the families.

“We are thankful for the generosity shown by the campus thus far, but there are still a few gift tags left on the giving trees and food and monetary donations are down considerably this year,” McDonnell said. “We understand times are tight for everyone but we’re hoping for a last-minute push. Anyone interested in donating has until December 8 to do so at one of the many locations around the campus.”

McDonnell reported that more than half of the gift tags were taken from the giving trees soon after the trees went up. Many generous individuals have taken the tags, then purchased, wrapped, tagged and donated the requested gifts. These gifts supplement the items the adopting departments, groups or individuals purchased for their adopted families.  As in years past , the tags ask for games, dolls, and other stocking stuffers. But this year the committee added stuffed toys to the gift tags in hopes that each child less than nine years old would receive one.

She said the Chapel Hills Barnes & Noble is working with the project committee to provide a book for each child on the adoptee list. Clerks in the store ask each customer at check out if they would like to purchase a book to donate or give a donation towards a book that the store will select.

The Student Athlete Advisory Committee is also conducting a separate food drive for donations to pass along to the service project. Still, additional non-perishable food items are always welcome, McDonnell said.

Campus departments and groups came forward to adopt all 29 families selected, and are fulfilling the individual family wish lists, McDonnell said. Each family will receive a gift basket of food and a grocery store gift card to purchase turkeys, produce, and other perishable food items. The committee plans to provide cards worth at least $40 if donations allow.

Less than a week is left to donate. The project concludes on Dec. 8. Staff volunteers will sort and divide the donations Dec. 9 for distribution from University Center room 116 Dec. 10.

The decorated Holidrop boxes are located in Main Hall, University Hall, the Science and Engineering Building, Dwire Hall, Columbine Hall, Centennial Hall, the Engineering Building, Family Development Center, university housing, the Lodge, Recreation Center, Kraemer Family Library, Cragmor Hall, the Print Shop, Public Safety, the Bookstore and University Center. Unexpired canned and dry foods, new unwrapped toys, paper goods, and household cleaning products are still needed and welcome.

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

Any size cash donation is appreciated. Collection containers are located in the LAS Dean’s office in Columbine Hall, University Hall, the Bookstore, University Center Information desk, Dwire coffee counter, ENT, Clyde’s, Public Safety, Jazzman’s, the Bursar’s office and Kraemer Family Library.  Checks should be made payable to UCCS Holiday Service Project.

Questions? Contact Botts at 255-4074 or [email protected] or McDonnell, 255-4320 or [email protected].

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