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Criminal Justice students play Santa Mom
November 29, 2012 Jerry Purvis   

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Again this year, criminal justice students at Western Nebraska Community College are seeking donations from faculty, staff and the business community to help with their Santa Mom program.
Dr. Hieu Phan, criminal justice instructor at the college, said the program has been around since 2007. The college’s Criminal Justice Club got involved in coordinating the program in 2011.

“From donations, students purchase gifts for children ages 3-14,” Phan said. “The presents are wrapped and delivered to the county detention center to give to incarcerated mothers so they can give some gifts to their children. Any extra presents will be delivered to the DOVES shelter for women to give to their children.”

Phan said the students received 170 gifts and $575 in cash donations for the program last year. This year, they’ve already broken that record.

“The Criminal Justice Club helped make a difference in the lives of many mothers and their children last year and they’re doing it again,” Phan said. “People make mistakes in their lives. We want to help keep incarcerated mothers and their families connected. Through the Santa Mom program, we’re able to help do that.”

He added that a healthy and joyous family requires love and affection from both parents and children. “It’s important for the children to know that. So we want to make a difference in the lives of those kids this Christmas and every Christmas.”

The deadline for donating gifts for children ages 3-14 is Monday, Dec. 3. Donations may be dropped off in Room C-155 at the Harms Advanced Technology Center on the college campus, 2620 College Park. The club is also picking up donations. Call (308) 635-6118 for a pickup.

Phan said he and the club members appreciate the support they’ve received from the community at this time of year. “Enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that your generosity helps make life more meaningful for children affected by the absence of their mothers, and those without homes this Christmas.”
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