Ornaments with the faces and names of ‘little angels’ are hung on a Christmas tree in the EOPS office from which faculty and staff choose an ornament and are then responsible for getting that child two gifts for the party. The ‘little angels’ are the children of Cal Works, low-income students.
“It really means so much to the students that their children are able to receive something for Christmas,” says Lizette Garcia, organizer of the EOPS Adopt an Angel event.
Garcia keeps thank you comics created by past attendees of the event in her office to remind her that all the hard work and planning is worth it.
The comic strip outlines the party step by step and the emotions that the brothers and sisters felt during each activity of the party.
Craft making, story telling, eating and singing Christmas Carols keeps the ‘little angels’ busy until Santa Claus comes to the party. They have to separate the children into two groups; otherwise 80 anxious kids will create a mosh pit around Santa.
One of Garcia’s prior students and her kids came back years later after she had left Fullerton College and adopted an angel, because she knew how it felt around Christmas to not have any money for presents.
“It’s so purposeful,” says Garcia, “and reminds you what the holidays are supposed to be about.”
The Adopt an Angel party is December 13th from 3 to 6:30 p.m.