More than 250 wrapped toys were given to children of Victor Valley College students on Saturday thanks to the volunteer efforts of college staff members and volunteers.
The Associated Student Body Council continued the college’s 20-year tradition of “Lights of Love,” a holiday gift drive. The children benefiting from the event are those of parents who are VVC students enrolled in specific programs offered at the college.
The Extended Opportunity Program and Services (EOPS) department offers the Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE) program, which provides academic support to meet the unique needs of single parents, while the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKS) program provides temporary cash aid assistance to families with dependent children.
“A number of campus holiday traditions rely on the generosity and participation of our campus family,” said Robert Sewell, VVC’s Public Information Office/Marketing Director and ASB Advisor. “Be it participation in a holiday food drive or sponsoring the children’s toy drive, ‘Lights of Love,’ we continue to make the holidays even more special for those who surely appreciate the assistance we can provide.”
Through this generosity, a total of 258 children were provided with presents this year.
They were wrapped and given out park-and-go style, with a handful of college staff and volunteers assisting to bring the gifts out to parents’ cars on Saturday at VVC.
The tradition was born from the college’s CARE Department, initiated by longtime CARE employee Margaret Kagy, Robert Sewell and former sociology professor Rebecca Britt, who passed away in 2007. Lights of Love was “best exemplified by” Britt, who was a beloved instructor, and it is held in her honor.
The event is now led by VVC’s ASB Council, the Child Development Center, the Ready Rams Club and other students clubs.
Although the usual festivities with Santa Claus and sweet treats could not take place this year, it is the hope of those involved that the gifts brought joy to the children who received them.
Additional gifts collected through the Lights of Love drive were given to the Victor Valley Warming Shelter, which is currently hosting 11 children along with more than 40 adults, and the Victor Valley Domestic Violence Shelter.