Phoenix College Embraces Holiday Giving Spirit

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This year, the 11th annual Holiday Refugee Family Adoption program organized by the Phoenix College English Department adopted 23 refugee families.

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Phoenix College is one of the 10 regionally accredited Maricopa Community Colleges.

We select families that have been here for a short period of time. They need everything you can imagine. -- Joseph Kimbuende, Phoenix College Adjunct Faculty Member

It’s become a Phoenix College tradition. During the holidays, faculty, staff and students find ways to help those in need and bring some joy and kindness to those less fortunate than themselves.

This infectious spirit of giving has been embraced by the PC community.

This year, the 11th annual Holiday Refugee Family Adoption program organized by the PC English Department adopted 23 refugee families.

“We select families that have been here for a short period of time,” said Joseph Kimbuende, an adjunct faculty member in the English Department, who coordinates the annual effort and co-founded the program along with retired PC residential faculty member Pam Rogers. “They need everything you can imagine."

While the effort is focused on the holiday, donations are accepted year-round, he added. “They come empty-handed so they need the basic items of survival, such as cooking utensils, bed sheets, blankets, beds and furniture.”

This year, students in Robiz Ozz’s English 101 class created a service learning project to raise donations to supplement the adopt-a-refugee-family drive. Students coordinated cupcake and candy sales, raised money, and gathered new and gently used clothing, toys, and household items. And as part of class competencies, students wrote letters of request, learning logs, learning charters, journal entries, and a final comprehensive essay reflecting what they learned from the project.

In all, students raised about 25 large bags of clothing, shoes, purses, and other accessories, 10 large boxes of children's toys and books, baby clothes, and sundry household items. They also purchased personal hygiene products and made 8 gift baskets that included coupons for free submarine sandwiches ($250 in coupons) and bought over $450 of gift cards to grocery and department stores.

The PC Women's Leadership Group also got the spirit of giving by supporting an overseas platoon of U.S. soldiers. They provided gifts to about 35 soldiers. The gifts ranged from snack foods and canned goods to recreational/leisure items and toiletries. WLG representatives Thelma Martinez, Elena Hernandez, Jennifer Nez and Adelina Armenta joined forces to coordinate the effort.

Other student clubs, such as the Cheerleading team, Black Student Union, Honors, Phi Theta Kappa and others also adopted families and raised donations for those families. Veterans Services joined in collection efforts for the Toys for Tots campaign. Not to be outdone, student-athletes from PC gave almost $500 to the Child Crisis Center for the holiday season.

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Jonathan Higuera
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