Operation Christmas is under way.
The mission is being led by the HCC Student Senate, with support from members of the COMMitted Club, under the guidance of senate advisor and Student Activities coordinator Liz Golen.
The objective: Help one low-income family have a happy holiday.
"We are raising money to get them everything from food and toiletries to clothes and presents," said student senator Jessica Booth.
The Student Senate was able to anonymously "adopt" the family with the help of Crystal Colon, coordinator of the Thrive Center at HCC.
"We don't know anything about the family, except it is a single working mom and two young girls, and they celebrate Christmas," said Booth.
"We just know the family is in dire need and wouldn't have a holiday if we didn't help them," said Golen.
Because of the anonymous nature of the project, Golen said the family may never know who helped them, and that's a good lesson for students -- to do something good without the expectation of anything in return, not even a thank-you.
"It's about giving," she said.
Booth said the senate raised $240 toward its $500 goal from a bake sale. Earlier today (Friday, Dec. 11), senators and members of the COMMitted Club delivered pre-ordered breakfast treats, fruit and coffee to classrooms and faculty and staff offices and made another $100.
Students will be making breakfast deliveries again on Monday (sign up in the Student Activities office in Donahue 103) and also collecting toiletries next week for the family. On Tuesday, Dec. 15, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., they will be holding a fundraiser at the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Holyoke. A portion of sale proceeds will go toward the Operation Christmas fund. Anyone who can't attend the book fair can support Operation Christmas online by shopping at bn.com bookfairs from Dec. 15-18 and entering Bookfair ID 11725249 at checkout.
PHOTOS by CHRIS YURKO: (Left) Members of the HCC Student Senate and COMMitted Club get ready to deliver breakfast around campus to raise money for Operation Christmas. (Right) Student senators Jessica Booth, center, and Jonathan Mendez, right, deliver breakfast HCC Spanish professor Monica Torregrosa. (Thumbnail) Karianne Santiago, president of the HCC COMMitted Club, and Jonathan Mendez, student senator and COMMitted Club member, deliver breakfast to HCC faculty and staff to raise money for Operation Christmas.