By: Shaya Rogers, Staff Reporter | Photo By: Shaya Rogers, Staff Reporter
The Executive Council of Students is working with local organizations to sponsor a coat and toy drive running Nov. 19 – Dec. 13.
Donation boxes have been placed in all CNM Connect locations. New, unwrapped toys as well as new or lightly used coats will be donated to families in time for the holidays, said ECOS Admi n i s t r a t ive Officer Emily Sarvis.
“We just wanted to make it easier for students to help families in need, and we are really excited to be able to involve all campuses,” she said.
There are many mothers and fathers attending CNM, and she encourages them to see if they have any old coats in their closet, she said.
She is excited to work with KOATs For Kids because there are families that cannot afford to buy their children coats, she said.
“I really wanted to do the KOATs For Kids because it always seems like they help out so many kids and I’ve known a lot of people who have gotten winter clothes through donations,” she said.
Sarvis said they are trying to make donating easy so students arrive at school five minutes early, drop off the items and get on with the day.
ECOS has not decided which organization to donate the toys to, but Sarvis said she is confident they will find one in great need. The council is researching many organizations to find the one that would best be helped by the toys, she said.
The holidays can be tough on many, but all kids should still be able to experience this part of childhood, she said.
“They already have to witness their parents being stressed and going through a hard time and I’m sure the kids are feeling the struggle too,” she said.
T h e d o l l a r store is a great r e s ou r c e for students who do not have much money, but would like to help out in some way, she said.
“If you only have five dollars to spend, go buy five toys and think about how nice it would be for that kid who didn’t think he or she was going to get any toys for Christmas,” she said.
People never know when they are going to be in a similar situation so helping others who are less fortunate is important, she said.
“Maybe that kid who didn’t think they were going to get anything for Christmas can open up a toy car and I bet you they are going to love that toy car that you bought for one dollar,” she said.
ECOS member Carrie Ratkevich said she knows that the holidays can be a difficult time for families and wants to ensure that people who do not have resources receive help.
“There are people who are less fortunate and it doesn’t matter how little you have, you can always give something back – even if it’s just your time or your energy,” she said.
Ratkevich found herself in need of help in November of 2009 as a single mother without a job. The experience gave her a personal connection to the project, she said.
“You don’t worry about what you have for yourself, you worry that you don’t have anything for your kids. What are you gonna do for them for Christmas? You don’t have anything for them and that is really hard,” she said.
The group wants to donate to people that have little to nothing and are essentially starting all over, she said.
“I know it’s something that would help a lot of people,” she said.
Having ECOS help turn her idea into a reality has been rewarding and she hopes to collect enough for many different families, she said.
“I want to do this for other people. That’s where the idea came from. I proposed it and everybody was really supportive,” she said.
She wants CNM students to get involved and realize that many families are having a really difficult time, not just for the holidays, but throughout the year, she said.
“ U n for t u n a t e ly many people, including myself, forget that other people are around. If you can’t look past yourself to help the greater good than you are not helping anybody including yourself, you are actually hurting yourself,” she said.
Donations of coats and toys can be dropped off at any CNM Connect location.
For Connect locations call 224-3186.