Committee seeks funds for needy students

Story By: Jasmine Yoro Bowles, Reporter

Fresno City College has a tradition of reaching out to struggling students during the holiday season.  That tradition, Hope for the Holidays, provides assistance that helps put food on the tables of needy families.

The Hope for the Holiday committee is seeking donations to help fund the gift cards given to eligible students, according to a flier emailed to all college employees in October.

FCC has “held on to the tradition” that was started over 20 years ago and used to offer gift baskets that have consisted of food donations, according to College Center Assistant Maile Martin.

“The senate hall would be filled with rolls, canned food, and boxed food,” Martin said.

However, for the past four years, needy students have been receiving a $50 holiday gift card in lieu of food. Martin says the change was made to respect student diversity and accommodate their transportation situation.

Last year, 183 students received a holiday gift card.

Martin says students are nominated by teachers “as a form of encouragement to let them know that we’re there for them.”

The Hope for the Holidays committee expects “to make it festive and meaningful for the students who receive this gift; everybody can use a little extra something for the holidays,” Martin said.

The program is funded almost entirely through donations and raises over $10,000 annually.

“It’s a joint effort on the campus to pull together to do this,” Martin said.

Martin says students who wish to receive a holiday gift card must be currently enrolled and express the need for assistance.

Hope for the Holidays distributes on Dec. 4 and 5 in the Student Lounge.