By Megan Hervey
Class of 2011
This time of the year on Gonzaga’s campus, you’re less likely to hear the “gimme, gimme” and “I want that” sounds of commercialized Christmas and more apt to see students, faculty and staff giving back to the Spokane community.
While so many Zags work to help the less fortunate enjoy Christmas, Gonzaga’s Center for Community Action and Service-Learning (CCASL) is coordinating several programs to assist Spokane families in need. Santa’s Helpers, organized by CCASL, includes a list of underprivileged families for Gonzaga to “adopt” during the holidays.
Hilary Case, coordinator of student engagement for CCASL, said typical gifts for these families include games, clothing, household items, gift cards and more. The project seeks to ensure that every person receives at least one gift to open on Christmas morning.
Campus Kids, a youth mentoring program administered by CCASL, coordinates its own giving through The Giving Tree, now in its 10th year. This program, run by students and staff involved in Campus Kids, asks Gonzaga community members to buy items on children’s Christmas wish-lists. The program buys items for up to four of each child’s siblings. Children also may ask for their “warmest wishes,” a warm item of clothing and a toy of their choice. This year, 350 children made their “warmest wishes” through the Giving Tree.
Campus Kids also hosted a Winter Wonderland party on campus for the holidays. The student mentoring organization hosted some 350 local elementary school students and family members for carnival games, food, gifts with Santa, and Christmas carols with the Big Bing Theory, Gonzaga’s well-known student a cappella group.
Among the countless other examples of Gonzaga giving this time of year, University Relations rallied to provide 67 coats for children at Logan Elementary School, located in Gonzaga’s neighborhood.