NOV. 21, 2000

CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456, mstepanovich@csub.edu




Community Services programs "adopt" three families for Christmas


The Community Services Programs Office at California State University, Bakersfield has taken three needy families in Bakersfield under its wing in an effort to make the holidays a little brighter for them.

The office became aware of the three families' needs through the outreach efforts of one of the program staff members, said Chesni Dixon-Meske, co-director of Community Service Programs at CSUB.

The three families don't qualify for basic financial assistance, Dixon-Meske said. Yet they can't afford even the most cursory of toys or gifts for Christmas. "When we spoke to the families, the children were just hoping for basic necessities, such as coats or mittens, things to help them keep warm in the winter.

"One family is a single mother with four children, the others are couples with children," she said. "They're employed, but their income barely covers daily living necessities. We wanted to see if we could make their holidays a little brighter." The children range in age from 2 to 13, she said.

Dixon-Meske and her staff started a food and clothing drive for the three families. They secured turkey donations from a local supermarket so that the families could enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner. They've set out boxes on the CSUB campus for donations of food, clothes and toys.

Also, Sing Lum Elementary School in southwest Bakersfield has partnered with the Community Service Program office and has adopted the three families, Dixon-Meske said.

The families need coats, toys, books, gloves, mittens, pants, warm clothing. Also welcome are any food donations, Dixon-Meske said.

Anyone wishing to participate may bring donations to the Community Services Programs office in the Administration East Building on the CSUB campus. Boxes are also at various locations around campus. For more information or to bring donations by, please call Dixon-Meske at 664-2100.