Santa’s Wish List Program 

Eimy Gonzalez, Staff Writer

The volunteer center is swiftly organizing a remote and safe Santa’s Wish List program to assist Madison College students provide gifts to their children on this festive season.  

For years, the volunteer center along with the Madison College Foundation have offered this program to students that find themselves in financial need as a way to support and deliver joy on the holidays.  It ranges from delivering winter essentials to toys, books or games—whatever may find its way into the child’s wish list.  

Previously, once the online applications were submitted, student workers from the volunteer center would present the children’s wish items—along with their name and age—as ornaments. These decorations were displayed on the giving trees that were spread in different campuses. This way, anyone who wanted to be a part of the program could grab an ornament, choose the present and bring it back to campus. Then, once the time came for the presents to be distributed to parents, a brief event was organized for them to pick up their correspondent items to take home and wrap.  

Now, more than ever, the health and safety of the students and their families is carefully taken into consideration. According to Brianna Stapleton-Welch, Volunteer Center program advisor, thorough measures have been taken to ensure zero physical contact while participating in this program. What this means is that the participation of the parents as well as the volunteers will be completely virtual. The application can already be filled out online, just as in previous years, however, as campuses will be closed after Thanksgiving, the dynamic of dropping off presents and scheduling a pickup has already been adjusted. 

 The approach of this year is to move from choosing an ornament at any of the giving trees, to looking for the wish items of each child through an Amazon wish list. For the people who are looking forward to donating this year, the link to this online wish list will be made available once the donor form has been filled out. Once the item has been purchased, it will be mailed directly to the student’s home. It’s important to mention that the volunteer center, with the guidance of the enrollment office, have rigorously worked and reached a solution to protect the privacy of the students being benefited by the program. Although the presents will be mailed directly, addresses and names will be kept private.  

Stapleton-Welch made this approach clear. She states that from the beginning of the organization, options were explored to ensure that students felt comfortable about receiving their gifts. Making sure that going to campus could be avoided and for their personal information to be out of reach.  

So far over 100 applications have been submitted. The pandemic has pushed many of the population into financial instability and programs, such as this one, are making a difference in the community. If it is in your ability to do so, it’s important to be an active supporter of activities and initiatives dedicated to spark joy and provide aid through these complicated times.   

As of Nov. 16, the application to become a donor will be made available through Wolfpack Connect or under the Volunteer Center page. Donors have the option to purchase a gift through the Amazon wish list or to do an online donation to the Madison College Foundation’s Santa’s Wish List Fund. Both are great opportunities to share some holiday joy and spirit.