Hawk CARES aims to provide support for students’ families this Christmas


Canva image created by Lydia Tesfaye

The Hawk CARES Center and Child Development Center are having a Giving Tree event to help students and their families during the holiday season. All presents must be unwrapped and be brought to the Hawk CARES Center by Dec. 9.

The Hawk CARES Program and Child Development Center want students and faculty to give back to those in need.
From Nov. 22 to Nov. 30, students and staff can select an ornament from the Hawk CARES Giving Tree. Each ornament has a wishlist from students’ families at the Child Development Center.
Student Life Supervisor, Oscar Mendoza Plascencia, said the forms are anonymous.
“The Child Development Center keeps the top part that has the name of the family, but the sheet has two locations that we can put the family number,” Plascencia said. “So when the half is teared off and we get the half on the bottom, you only get the family number, the age of the child, the size of clothing and something that they might want for their child.”
Plascencia said anyone who wants to adopt a family can pick up an ornament from P-48 on campus or donate Walmart or Target gift cards. He also said Hawk CARES can do the shopping for those that want to, but don’t have the time to do so.
“We want to make sure that every family who participates gets a gift,” Plascensia said.
Hawk CARES’ Student Ambassador Salahuddin Ayoubi said he “absolutely loves” this idea and that this is their first time having a giving tree.
“It’s a huge opportunity for the families in need,” Ayoubi said. “Some of the kids don’t get gifts on Christmas and it feels amazing to me to know that I helped contribute, that those kids are enjoying their Christmas because we did such an amazing thing.”
Ayoubi said it’s challenging to have this project during a pandemic.
“A lot of teachers they’re at home so we got to find a way for them to contribute,” Ayoubi said.
Plascencia said not having contact with students is difficult.
“We might have the resource, but we don’t have the actual contact with the students for us to share with them,” Plascencia said. “Let’s say we were not in the pandemic, we can always put a table in the middle of campus and say ‘hey, we have this going on.’”
Plascencia added that the giving tree is a joint effort.
“It’s a collaboration within the Hawk CARES Program, the student government and the child wellness center,” Plascencia said.
President of the Student Senate Francheska Delara said the student senate has the money to support this project.
“A few meetings ago we actually approved a requested fund of $150 for materials such as gift wrapping paper, tape, scissors and all that jazz,” Delara said.
Delara said the student senate is going to be wrapping gifts.
“This project is mainly for the basic needs center, but we’re just here to provide and support,” Delara said.
Delara said she’s been at CRC for three years and doesn’t recall this being done before.
“I think it’s just a really heartfelt action to do,” Delara said.
Ayoubi and Delara said this project was Plascencia’s idea.

Plascencia said he wants students to feel welcomed and supported when it comes to the Hawk CARES Center.
“I feel the campus do great in trying to support students academically, but there’s a different side of the student that is not often addressed which is the personal side which is what the Hawk CARES Program is aiming to do,” Plascencia said.
Plascencia said the easiest way the Hawk CARES Center can reach out to students is through social media.
Follow the Hawk CARES Center on Instagram @crchawkcares for more news and efforts.