Yuba College faculty, staff and students have the opportunity to share Christmas gifts and joy with some of the less fortunate children of the community this holiday season through the “Adopt a CARE Child for Christmas” program. Through the program, children ranging in age from newborns to teenagers are able to receive Christmas gifts, which they would otherwise not be able to enjoy.
Jan Eichler, Yuba College faculty member organizing the program, said, “I think it makes a huge difference to these children’s holiday season. For some of them it might be the only gift they get.”
The donations received through this annual program go to the children of Yuba College students who are currently members the CARE Club. To be eligible to join the CARE Club one must be currently receiving county financial assistance, have at least one child under the age of 14, and be a full time Yuba College student working towards a vocational or academic certificate and or degree.
The purpose of the club is to offer a counseling course to students who are in a transitional stage of life. It offers support for the students’ college success, with an emphasis on self-reliance. The club also provides for its members to have a support group of others who have had similar life experiences.
Although the “Adopt a CARE Child for Christmas” program has already received a greater response than last year, more gifts are still needed. Of the 75 children in the program, 21 still need to be “adopted.” Faculty and students can “adopt a child” by obtaining an ornament from the Christmas tree in the CARE Office in front of room 113, building 100B. The ornaments contain each child’s information with a few specifics to aid in the purchasing of gifts. Eichler said, “Its so wonderful to see the smile on the children’s faces. Its nice for them to know that someone cares.”
The children will receive their gifts from a seasonal “special guest” at the annual CARE Club Winter Festival on December 19. The festival will also have other events for the children, including face painting, cookie decorating, and ornament making.
Monica Pack, Yuba College CARE Club president, said, “The children get ecstatic. It’s very positive for them to participate in the activities and be around children who are similar to them.”
To donate gifts for the program, faculty members and students need to turn in their wrapped gifts no later than December 12, including the original ornament. Eichler suggested that gifts could include toys, clothes, music cards and gift certificates. She said, “The holidays can be a hard time for these children. The gifts mean so much to them and can make such a difference at this season.”