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December 11, 2006

Season of giving under way across campus

By Louise Donahue

Whether it's fulfilling holiday "wish lists" for needy children or filling Second Harvest bags with canned goods, the season of giving is well under way across campus.

And if you haven't gotten involved yet, there's still time.

The Student Volunteer Connection has set up "giving trees" around campus for those wishing to buy presents for youngsters at the New Horizons school for homeless children. The group is also recruiting last-minute givers to serve as "Santas on Standby" to buy something for youngsters whose names haven't been chosen for gifts. For more information, call (831) 459-3363, or e-mail

Other faculty, staff, and students are participating in the Santa Cruz Volunteer Center's Adopt A Family program. Those wishing to adopt a family through the program should act quickly, because the deadline for dropping off toys is this week. For more information, call (831) 427-5075.

Contributors to the Toys for Tots program may drop off unwrapped new toys of any kind at the UCSC fire station Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through December 20. UCSC firefighters are collecting toys to distribute to local needy children through the Toys for Tots program. Donated toys should be in their original packaging. For more information, contact Toy Souza at (831) 459-3473.

A program serving both children and adults is the Christmas Project. Contributors choose the name of someone from a Santa Cruz County migrant worker family. First names and their gift requests are dispayed on a Christmas tree in the Educational Opportunity Programs Office of the Academic Resouces Center. "Most of the adults are asking for warm clothes," said Larry Trujillo, executive director of Student Academic Support Services. Gifts must be selected by Friday, Dec. 15. For more information, contact Trujillo at (831) 459-3630.

Donations to the annual Second Harvest Food Bank campaign to help feed people of all ages are being solicited through December 18.

Nonperishable foods and cash donations are both welcome. Donations may be sent via Campus Mail. For every dollar donated, Second Harvest is able to distribute more than $9 worth of food. A $10 donation provides a family of four with an average of 50 meals. Those wishing to have food donation bags dropped off should call (831) 459-4852.

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