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CSU, Chico News

Needy Children Program Packages Joy This Holiday Season

Date: 12-09-2013

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

This week, the California State University, Chico campus community is once again gathering gifts for families in need during the holiday season.

The University’s Needy Children Program, started in the mid-1980s, is conducted by CSU, Chico’s Staff Council to help underprivileged children in Butte County. This year, 72 families and 145 children will receive toys as well as clothing and other essentials based on donations from campus community members.

The Staff Council Service Projects Committee works with the Children's Services Division of Butte County's Department of Social Services to identify the names of children in need. The county social workers also provide wish lists from the children and information about other needs to help employees shop for them.

A reception to celebrate this year’s program will be held Wednesday, Dec. 11, for faculty, staff, students and social workers at the University Farm from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. After refreshments, gifts for the families will be distributed to the social workers.

Along with overseeing the gift purchases for children, Staff Council also raised $3,850 from raffles and other campus donations to buy grocery gift cards for needy families.

Since the Needy Children Program began, approximately 4,700 children and 1,875 families have received about $100,000 for food certificates and gifts for these families.

The Service Projects Committee chair this year is Cindy Kelly and co-chair is Dana Francis. Michelle Berglund-Smith is chair of Staff Council, and Melanie O’Connor is Staff Council office manager.

“Our campus has come through again with generous donations,” said Francis. “It touches my heart to be able to give to children who are in need. It is wonderful we are able to do this year after year.”