Students collect 100 Star Tree gifts

Other Staff

Every holiday session a handful of underprivileged children cannot experience the joy of gifts or family. Usually they come from poor families with one or both parents outside the home, incarcerated, or dead. The Salvation Army has for over fifty years, provided gifts to needy children for the holidays. Most of the time spent on the project is from community volunteers.

“We work very hard,” Pam Donaldson, volunteer for the Star Tree program, said, “to make these children feel loved. We want them to feel that there is someone that cares for them even though one or both parents are gone. It brings us great joy to see their faces when you give them a very special present for Christmas.”

The California Scholarship Federation (CSF) sponsors the Star Tree program on campus each year.

“The Star Tree program sponsored by the Salvation Army is a way that campus students can give back to the needy children in the Fresno community,” Lindsay DeCosta, ’02, said. DeCosta and Annie Falk, ’02, were the CSF officers in charge of the event on campus. “Each student picked out a star that had a child’s name and gift requests, a toy and an article of clothing.”

The program teaches students humility and other biblical ideals.
“The best part of the program,” Sargent explained, “is it provides an opportunity for our students, many of whom live very comfortably, to feel the generosity of ministering to children who are in needy circumstances due to no fault of their own. They are able to become a visual representation of Christ.”

“I bought a football and a basketball for a 10-year-old kid named Lawrence,” Caleb Janca, ’02, said. “Every year I buy gifts for kids who don’t have anything.”

Janca was not the only student who participated in the Star Tree program. “I wanted to participate in the Star Tree program because I wanted to brighten someone’s Christmas who might not have the joy of opening a gift on Christmas morning, Lauren Taylor, ’03, said. “I liked shopping for Yong Lee because I was able to shop in the baby department.”

The gifts were returned to Molly Sargent’s room, 621, on Dec. 12 and were delivered to the Salvation Army so that the organization can deliver them to the children.

“I was really surprised at how many students were interested and followed through with their commitment,” DeCosta said. “For example, Nathan Yockey (’03) was so excited to buy his Star Tree child a Barbie doll. I thought that showed true character.”