The spirit of giving is taking root across UC Merced as the campus collects gifts for Merced County families through the annual “A Home for the Holidays” campaign.
Members of the campus community are invited to adopt a “home” by selecting an envelope from any of four small “giving trees.” The trees can be found at: the Facilities Building; the School of Engineering (SE2 315); the Downtown Campus Center; and the Community Engagement Center (KL 190).
Each envelope contains a card with the wish list for children in a local family. The families are connected to All Dads Matter, a nonprofit organization that helps fathers develop positive parental skills.
“For many, the holiday season can be the most challenging time of the year as families try to deliver a cheerful holiday season with limited to no resources,” program supervisor Lamar Henderson said. “Over the years, the partnership between UC Merced and All Dads Matter has delivered holiday gifts to over 200 families who otherwise would go without. The gifts bring so much joy to each child no matter the age. The parents experience reduced stress and a sense of relief to know that someone cares enough to share in making it a more cheerful day.”
"The gifts bring so much joy to each child no matter the age."
Members of the UC Merced community are encouraged to help make the holidays happier for one local family by selecting an envelope, either as a group or as an individual, and purchasing at least one item from each child’s wish list.
The gifts, once they have been wrapped and tagged with the name of the recipient, will be collected at the Community Engagement Center. All gifts must be collected by noon Friday, Dec. 20.
Jennifer Taylor, internal communications coordinator for the campus, said the annual campaign is a beautiful way to start the holiday season.
“When the trees arrive, adorned in wishes, the holiday season truly begins,” she said. “It’s a humbling honor to support our local community. Being able to spread kindness and love — the true ‘reasons for the season’ — makes ‘A Home for the Holidays’ truly a gift for the participants as much as the recipients.”