California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Adopt a Family continues for the eighth consecutive year

    The leaves are falling, Starbucks’ cups are changing and it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

    The California Lutheran University community is ringing in the holiday season by teaming up with Lutheran Social Services, Kids and Families Together and Casa Pacifica to donate holiday gifts to families in need.

    Adopt a Family has been a holiday program in the Cal Lutheran community since 2007. The number of recipient families changes each year based on the need and the number of donors involved.

    “The Community Service Center’s Adopt a Family program provides an opportunity for the campus community during the holiday season to positively impact the greater community,” Coordinator for Community Service Nicole Cozzi said. “This year we have 25 families from our three nonprofit organization partners.”

    Students, faculty and staff can individually participate or sign up as a group. Adopting families is a popular holiday activity for freshman seminar classes.

    Sarah Fischbach, who has a doctorate in marketing, is a faculty adviser for a freshman seminar group this fall. Her peer adviser, sophomore Madeline Campbell, encouraged her freshman to give back this holiday season by adopting a family rather than exchanging presents among themselves.

    “The peer group discussed the idea in class and we thought it would be a great way to be involved in the community and give back during the holiday season to those that are less fortunate,” Campbell said. “Being so fortunate to be a part of Cal Lutheran reminds us that there are so many people that go through the holidays without the things we take for granted.”

    Campus Pastor Scott Maxwell-Doherty said Adopt a Family has an impact on the student body and connects to the mission of Cal Lutheran.

    “Building global leaders who are strong in character is not just an academic enterprise. It begins from a theological position, which is further developed in the life of the mind, heart and soul,” Maxwell-Doherty said. “In the New Testament, Jesus, when asked about the first and most important commandment, declared this: Love God, Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

    Adopting a family is a four-step process listed on the Cal Lutheran Community Service website. First,an organization, office, family or individual signs up to participate. Next a family is randomly assigned and information is sent about the family being adopted.

    Third, those adopting go out and shop for the needs and wants on the family’s wish list, and there are gift giving guidelines available on the Adopt a Family page. Finally, all adopting participants are invited to the Drop-off Party, where all gifts are collected for shipment to the nonprofit partners.

    Adopting each family costs $150.00 and those who adopt are given their family’s wish list. It is asked that no money is given, but gift cards and extra goodies are welcomed.

    Adopting an individual child is another option provided by Casa Pacifica. A child sponsorship costs $75 – $100.

    Cozzi said that the Homelessness and Poverty Intern for the Community Service Center, Eric Flores, has been working diligently with community partners since early October to coordinate this program for the Cal Lutheran campus. 

    Casa Pacifica specifically works with children who are victims of abuse, neglect or emotional disturbance, and have been removed from their homes, the Adopt a Family website stated. They offer programs ranging from educational support to medical care for those children.

    Lutheran Social Services provides social services through their ministry. They reach out to those in need of transitional housing, counseling, emergency services and more.

    Kids and Families Together offers support, educational and counseling services for individuals and families in foster care, kinship and adoption. They service to preserve “families and for the preservation of the physical, emotional and mental health of children,” according to the Adopt a Family webpage.

    “Adopt a Family and the CLU Mission are a wonderful link of a core value meeting a social action,” Maxwell-Doherty said. “For a moment people are moved out of their self-centeredness to focus on the needs and concerns of others.”

    Cal Lutheran’s Adopt a Family program not only embraces the holiday spirit but also unites students, faculty and staff on campus and the outside community to the family on campus.

    Registration to adopt a family or child is open until Friday Nov. 20 and everyone is welcome to join in the celebration at the Drop off Party Dec. 4 in Ullman 100 and 101.

    Laurel Skinner
    Staff Writer
    Published November 18th, 2015