Staff Council is collecting gifts for students of Brackenridge Elementary, seeking volunteers to wrap presents.
By Courtney Kaiser
J.T. Brackenridge Elementary School students will receive gifts this year as part of the Angel Tree program sponsored by the Staff Council at this college.
However, the program, which relies on donations from staff, faculty and students, still needs gifts for at least 250 children.
For the past several years the program has provided presents for more than 2,000 children. Staff Council President Jacob-Aidan Martinez is hopeful the number will continue to grow this year.
“Every year we have met our goal and given every kid a gift,” Martinez said.
To participate, students, faculty and staff select an angel ornament from trees located in the business office on the second floor of Fletcher Administration Center, Room 632 and the SLAC lab of Moody Learning Center, Room 345 of Chance Academic Center and Room 325 of Oppenheimer Academic Center.
Each ornament has the name, age and gender of a child. Participants buy the child a gift that costs no more than $20.
This year the number of students exceeds 750. As of today, student success specialist Dee Dixon said the Staff Council still needs between 250 and 300 gifts.
“If I could get all the names off all the trees on campus, I’m good,” Dixon said.
Gloria Martinez, home support liaison for Brackenridge, said students at the school would be grateful for any gift they receive.
“My biggest hope is that every one of them gets a little something,” she said. “Because for some of them, this one gift is it.”
Dixon said the Angel Tree program mostly needs gifts for second- and third-graders now.
“Anybody who comes and takes a name really is a savior,” she said.
She recommends donors use what she calls “the trifecta” when buying gifts for the students.
“Something fun, something practical and something educational,” she said. “Something practical could be socks, a hat or a scarf. Something educational could be a book or a puzzle. Something fun can be whatever you think. And usually you can do that within the recommended $20.”
Jacob-Aidan Martinez said the number of donors has increased through a big push this week. He said they put up more trees and will continue to work hard to reach the goal.
The program will be accepting gifts through Dec. 7 at the following drop-off locations:
- president’s office, Room 323 of Fletcher Administration Center
- deans’ office, Room 305 of Fletcher
- department of creative multimedia, Room 632 of Moody Learning Center
- business office, Room 325 of Oppenheimer Academic Center
- MESA Center, Room 204 of Chance Academic Center
Jacob-Aidan Martinez did note that donations can be submitted after the deadline if the goal is not reached.
Donors do not necessarily have to pick an ornament before going shopping.
“Just bring the gift,” he said. “We’ll basically adopt a student for them and put an ornament with their gift.”
Gloria Martinez said that toys would be great for younger kids, but some older kids might like a jacket or shirts with different characters on them.
Jacob-Aidan Martinez said they prefer that gifts be wrapped when they are brought in, but if they are not that is fine.
The Angel Tree program is one of three major events that the Staff Council puts on with area schools each year to help students in the community. They also hold a school supply drive and a Book Fiesta in the spring.
“This is a huge event,” he said. “The entire community gets involved and everyone is really giving.”
For more information, call Jacob-Aidan Martinez at (210) 486-1208.