WSCU Amigos Bring Holiday Cheer to Kids
GUNNISON, Colo. – On a cold weekday evening, while flakes flew outside, a holiday fiesta was underway at WSCU’s University Center in Gunnison last week. Mexican food was on the menu and, lining a long wall behind a Christmas tree, dozens of gifts were stacked in a long row.
WSCU Amigos gather at the University Center with students from Gunnison Middle School's Latino Boys & Girls Club
The presents were meant for a group of local children from the Gunnison Middle School Latino Boys and Girls Group and were collected by a number of enthusiastic Western State Colorado University student volunteers called the Amigos Club.
“Each Amigo member was paired up with one of the kids to buy a gift for them,” says WSCU student Briana Vigil. “The kids tonight were so excited and enthusiastic to receive the gifts and be a part of something on campus. Just the smile on each of their faces was more than I could ever have asked for in tonight's event.” The gifts were donated by Western State Colorado University faculty, staff, students and members of the Gunnison community. Students from the Amigos club cooked up traditional Latin dishes for the feast.
“I was overwhelmed by the generosity, creativity, and enthusiasm for making our middle school Latino students feel special,” says Gunnison Middle School teacher Kristina Herrin. “One of our boys said, "These gifts are so cool, it's making me blush.”
The Amigos’ relationship with the students from Gunnison Middle School began when WSCU student Jesse Cruz and others were looking for ways to bring Latino students to Western State Colorado University’s campus and talk to them about going to college.
“Every kid should have the access and opportunity to improve their life,” says Briana Vigil, “we believe it is a great opportunity to reach out the Hispanic community, especially those who are struggling in some aspects of their life, particularly school.”
The Amigos are just one of many community service organizations run by WSCU students.