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SJND Students Adopt Local Families in Need This Holiday Season
Each holiday season, the Saint Joseph Notre Dame community comes together to give back to local families in need through its annual Adopt-a-Family program, adopting approximately 50 families from the Oakland Catholic Worker, Catholic Charities and Angel Tree programs to help make their holiday season just a bit more special.
This past October, seven spanish-speaking students, including sophomore Erika Aguayo Gutierrez, volunteered their Saturday to interview new adopted families to learn about their Christmas wish lists.
"My experience with interviewing families for Adopt-a-Family has made me feel extremely grateful. The families kept thanking me over and over again for taking their Christmas wish lists," Erika explained. "One of the families I interviewed, the mother told me she was very grateful for this program and that if it wasn't for this opportunity, her little boys wouldn't have presents to open on Christmas day. She told me how she had just arrived to this country from Nicaragua a few months ago and how her kids are slowly adjusting to life in the US; she said it hasn't been easy and there have been a lot of obstacles such as language and tradition differences."
Each homeroom class will sponsor one of the adopted families and collect gifts from their wish lists. Parents and other SJND volunteers will then wrap the gifts and deliver them to the families in mid-December.
Erika went on to discuss the importance of helping these families and others. "The parents are working very hard to provide food on the table and a roof over their heads for their children. When a holiday like Christmas rolls around, these families are unable to buy presents for their children because of their financial situation. This is why it is important to help these families out and spread the spirit of giving...it is our job to help others."