Helping a family in need for the holidays

By Amber B. Carter

Members of the Rider community are giving back this holiday season by reaching out to a family in need.

Dr. Adriano Duque’s Spanish I, III, and Medieval Literature classes and the Spanish Club are partnering with Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton to adopt a family for Christmas.

“This is an [idea] of one of the students, and they are all very excited to participate in this project,” Duque said. “I thought it was a very commendable thing to do.”

The family, a mother and her two children aged 4 and 19 months, is one of many who participate in this program.

The Catholic Charities organization has been serving people for over 100 years and is equipped with a staff of 690, according to its local chapter Web site.

It is a non-profit corporation sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton that provides quality services to those who need it most, as well as being a voice for those in need. Although the church is Roman Catholic, it helps people of all faiths and denominations.

Duque went on to explain the family selection process for those who are adopting.

“First, you select how many members you want in the family,” he said. “The organization matches you up with a wish list [and] you try to get all the items on the list.”

The family’s wish list includes clothes, books, a stroller, a blender and a queen-sized bed set.

Members of the Spanish Club think participation in this program is essential to spreading holiday cheer, said junior Christina Tremonte, president of the club.

“We decided together as a collective that we wanted to sponsor the family to give back during the holiday season,” Tremonte said. “We believe it is very important to reach out to those less fortunate during the holidays.”

Catholic Charities also accepts donations on an individual basis.

Suggested items to donate include: compact discs, carrying cases, lap desks, jewelry-making kits, sports equipment, watches, sleeping bags, hand-held games, wallets and movies, either DVD or VHS with PG ratings only, for children between 10 and 12.

Items such as trucks, cars, trains, sports toys, learning toys and building blocks can be donated for boys. African American or Caucasian dolls, play appliances, bath and body products and jewelry boxes make great contributions for girls. Stacking blocks, musical toys, bath toys, books, push toys, dolls and action figures are the perfect presents for toddlers.

Clothing, such as winter hats, gloves, socks and slippers can also be donated.

Those interested in contributing should visit

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