The Catholic University of America

Dec. 13, 2007

CUA Donates More than 400 Gifts to Brookland-Area Children

Campus ministers sort gifts donated to Catholic University's Giving Tree Christmas drive.

Campus ministers sorted through a sea of colorful bags and boxes this week as they organized more than 400 presents donated by Catholic University students, faculty and staff to Catholic University's Giving Tree Christmas drive. The presents were picked up Dec. 13 by the Edgewood/Brookland Family Support Collaborative to be distributed to area children this Christmas season.

The organization uses the toys, games and clothing to create a "toy store" for the Edgewood/Brookland community the week before Christmas. Parents can come and choose a gift for each of their children - from infants to age 18.

To make their shopping easier, CUA community members chose ornaments with suggested gifts written on them from Christmas trees at the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center, The House and St. Vincent's Chapel. They also could view a wish list online at Campus Ministry's Web site. Campus Ministry provided several van trips to Target so that students could shop for the Giving Tree project.

Student volunteers encouraged giving among CUA faculty and staff by visiting offices to spread word about the project. The collection was also tied to the university's annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 7. People were invited to drop off their gifts at the ceremony.

This is the second year that Campus Ministry has dedicated its Christmas service project to the neighborhood collaborative.

"I love that our gifts go back to kids that are part of this community," said Emmjolee Mendoza Waters, associate campus minister for community service. "At Christmastime, we are in a society of a lot of commercialism and consumerism. It's great that our faculty and staff - and especially our students - are thinking of others and trying to make children in the community smile."