UC Merced’s Staff Assembly, Community Engagement Center and the Office of External Relations are partnering to host a holiday gift drive to benefit local families. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to donate new, unwrapped gifts for youth ages 9-17.
This year might be different, but people can still help make the holiday season a little brighter for the local community.
“During COVID-19, many of our Merced County neighbors have been impacted financially. I am using some of my commuter savings this month to help a Planada family,” Staff Assembly President Yesenia Curiel said.
Gifts, which may include sports equipment, art supplies, hoodies, headphones and STEM activity kits, will be donated to All Dads Matter, CASA of Merced County and St. Vincent de Paul in Planada. A wish list of gift ideas is available.
“You can make a difference by helping us make the season look a bit more normal,” said Alicia Rodriguez, president of St. Vincent de Paul’s Board of Directors. “Let’s continue being part of being a giving community.”
Gifts can be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Dec. 14-18 at the Downtown Campus Center lobby, 655 W. 18th Street in Merced. To adhere to the recent stay-at-home order, people can also ship their gifts directly through Dec. 18 to: Staff Assembly Gift Drive, UC Merced Downtown Campus Center, 5200 N. Lake Road, Merced, CA 95343.
The Community Engagement Center is also collecting unwrapped toys and $25 gift cards to Target or Walmart to distribute to families through All Dads Matter. Contact Vernette Doty for more information.
Drop off dates/location are:
- Wednesday, Dec. 9, 4-5 p.m., Atwater Walmart parking pot
- Friday, Dec. 11, 4-5 p.m. Merced Fair Grounds parking lot
- Wednesday, Dec. 16, 4-5 p.m. Merced Raley's parking lot
- Friday, Dec. 18, 3-5 p.m., The Promenade parking lot