Annual Holiday Gift Drive at SJCC

SJCC Outreach department sponsored a gift drive to help kids and teens


Photo by Mitchell Pierola/Times Staff

Donated toys on display before the SJCC holiday gift drive.

This year’s on-campus Holiday Gift Drive is aiming to help kids at Sherman Oak Elementary School.

The gifts will also be donated to families at Del Mar High School.

East Side Union High School District was mentioned since they decided to join in and they will be giving out gifts at a set location for the families to pick-up.

Behind the scenes, Xiomara Martinez is processing applications online for people who want to dedicate their gifts towards a specific age group.

There was a fair amount of donors for different age groups, which consisted of gift cards, clothing and toys.

Martinez spoke excitedly about how special the event was for families.

“Target is a big rescue this year because with their help we have probably reached over 200 toys,” Martinez said.

Buzz Lightyear toys, Barbie’s and educational sets were some of the mentioned toys being donated.

This is the fourth year the San Jose OutReach department is sponsoring the Holiday Toy Drive.

“We noticed a need, Del Mar was a place that needed help,”Martinez said of why San Jose outreach chose to sponsor a holiday drive.

“The first year we didn’t expect much, but we received more than 20 gifts and since then we partnered up and continued doing all of this,” Martinez said of her first year experience hosting the drive, which is a team organized event.

Martinez said she is a former City College student who used to be on financial aid and she eventually started to work on-campus.

Martinez started attending City College in 2001.

Martinez’s college experience at SJCC inspired her to help others because while being a student at SJCC, Martinez had no support and was having trouble trying to find help.

Martinez hopes this holiday gift drive will become better each year, because so far the numbers of donors are increasing each year.

She now has over 18 years of working experience for the college district.

“We will be delivering and attending a dinner hosted by Del Mar, and our team will be dressed as Santa elf’s helpers,” Martinez said.

Martinez also commented, “I am really happy with the support we got this year.”

If you find yourself wanting to help or donate toys next year for the Holiday Drive,check the Event Calendar through the SJCC website for more information.