Langara Holiday Hamper program helps students in need

The initiative gives out gifts and clothes during the holiday season


Reported by Nick Valka

Langara’s student services department is trying to make the holiday season less difficult for some students in need.

The Holiday Hamper program provides Langara student-parents and their children with a package during the holidays. Student-parents get paired up with a department anonymously, then submit a list of items they need or want in their hamper. The hampers can contain gifts, or clothing items, but no food.

Melia Fernandez, the operations manager for Student Services at Langara, said to be considered for a hamper, a student must be a parent whose been approved for financial need by the Financial Aid department.

“We go through the list of all the student-parents who have applied for bursaries and we send them an email. ‘Hey we’ve got this program, we want to give you a holiday hamper,’ ” Fernandez said.

A variety of departments sponsor the hampers

The library sponsors a family each year and Louise Reid, a technician in the reference department, said this is one more way that the library can help out students.

“The library is very much service focused, we’re really enthusiastic about helping out our students this way,” Reid said.

Michael Lister, the vice president of the Langara Business Association, said they put on fundraisers every year to raise money for the program.

“Typically [the business association] raise about $1,200 to $1,500,” Lister said. “We’re trying to give back to our school.”

The money raised goes towards grocery store gift cards, which supplement the department’s hampers.

New to this year

Supporting students in Youth in Care Canada is new to the program this year. These students are members of group homes, or have aged out of the foster care system. The program aims to provide 25 families with hampers and support for 29 Youth in Care students.

Fernandez also hopes that word of the program will spread to newer staff members.

“The more departments we have sponsoring families, the better we can support them,” Fernandez said.



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