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Central Washington University

CWU's Annual Holiday Gift Project Brings Joy to Hundreds of Kittitas Kids

Central Washington University's Annual Holiday Gift Project directly impacts hundreds of underprivileged children in Kittitas County. The project not a toy drive, but rather the heartfelt and personal gesture of providing a gift to a child from his or her own wish list.  Each child is individually sponsored. This year, the Holiday Gift Project started November 4 and will continue through December 2.

Many staff, faculty, and students contribute to this valued project each year. CWU athletes find the Annual CWU Holiday Gift Project a particularly meaningful way to give back to the community.

“Each year our teams choose this as a community project,” said Men’s Basketball Head Coach Greg Sparling. “It’s one of our favorite activities.”

Sparling said that the basketball team usually sponsors five to ten kids a year, and that the players will donate gifts to four to five of the children. Members of the coaching staff also sponsor individual children.

“Some of our players haven’t had it so easy growing up,” related Sparling. “I overheard one talking about a Christmas so lean, that the kids in his family only got one present, and it was clothing. It makes giving another child a more bountiful holiday very gratifying.”

“The players really get excited about bringing the gifts down to the President’s Office,” continued Sparling. “We take the time to all go down together. They talk about how good it feels when they hand over the presents.

“They also get to see all the other presents that the university community has donated. It brings home how many needy people there are in Kittitas County—and how generous our university is.”

The CWU Holiday Gift Project supports CWU’s Early Childhood Education Center, CWU’s Operation ELF, Kittitas County Bright Beginnings, and Department of Children and Family Services.

For more information, call 509-963-2111 or e-mail cwu_president@cwu.edu.