During the month of December, CSU workout aficionados can get more than an endorphin buzz at the CSU Campus Recreation Center â€“â€“ they can also help out a family in need through the annual â€œAdopt a Family Giving Treeâ€ program.
â€œWe know that the month of December can be very difficult for some people, so we try to give a helping hand to a family that needs our help,â€ said Ray Aberle, the assistant director of the CSU Challenge Course and the coordinator of the â€œAdopt a Familyâ€ program.
â€œAdopt a Familyâ€ is in its eight year, and every year the Adult Learners and Veteran Services Office identifies a CSU student in need during the holiday season. Â
This year, a single mother graduate student was selected to receive the gifts, with additional support going to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The program was unable to release the recipientâ€™s name.
â€œWe get that as a parent, Christmas can be a very stressful thing to worry about, particularly when itâ€™s tough to make ends meet in the first place,â€ Aberle said. â€œOur purpose is to really empower her and to give her one less thing to worry about during December.â€
The giving tree is located in the main foyer of the Rec Center and students interested in giving gifts to the family can select an ornament from the tree according to how much they want to spend on a gift. The Rec Center staff has a wish list compiled by the family, with students buying gifts according to what ornament they selected from the tree.
â€œWe tried to do a really wide price range because we know that college students donâ€™t have the best financial means,â€ said Kim Vetter, an employee at the Rec Center who is involved in the program. â€œSo far, Iâ€™ve been really impressed with the high level of interest that weâ€™ve gotten. It says a lot about the community.â€
Gifts cost between $5 and $20, and there is also a donation box available for students simply looking to contribute financially. Most of the items on the wish list are basic everyday items, with other items including gift cards and toys.
â€œToy Story has really been the big thing for the recipientâ€™s son, so weâ€™ve been trying to really integrate that into the gifts,â€ Aberle said.
This program is in conjunction with what Aberle and Vetter refer to as a â€œvery charitable spiritâ€ perpetuated in the Rec Center office.
â€œWeâ€™re trying to instill these notions of charitable giving with our staff and student employees and really trying to make it a part of our office culture,â€ Vetter said.
The â€œAdopt a Family Giving Treeâ€ continues until Dec. 15. Questions can be directed to the service desk at the Campus Recreation Center. Â
â€œIf we all get together as a community, thereâ€™s no reason why we canâ€™t take care of one another,â€ Aberle said.
Outdoor Life Beat Reporter Allison Sylte can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adopt a family giving tree
- What: A program aimed at providing Christmas gifts to a family in need
Where: CSU Rec Center lobby
- Who: Students and Rec Center staff
When: through Dec. 15
- How to donate: Students and campus community members can choose to purchase gifts from the wish list, which run between $5 and $20, or make a monetary donation.