UHV Giving Tree kicks off

Standing with the 2008 UHV Giving Tree are, as they were titled at the time, senators-at-large Erik Garino and Whitney Damborsky, president Kristen Lindley and secretary Nicole Garcia.

Socks and paper towels may seem like lousy Christmas gifts to some people, but they are just what the University of Houston-Victoria Student Senate members want this year.

The organization will kick off the seventh annual UHV Giving Tree, an effort to raise needed supplies for area charities, by decorating a large Christmas tree at 10 a.m. Dec. 3 in the foyer of University Center, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St.

From Dec. 3 until Dec. 17, the public and UHV community are invited to leave any one of a long list of needed items under the tree to benefit the Dorothy O’Connor Pet Adoption Center, Adopt-A-Pet, Mid-Coast Family Services and the Old Landmark Committee of Victoria.

“It’s just a way to give back to the community, and these organizations could really use the support,” Student Senate President Erik Garino said.

After the campaign, the organizations will use the supplies to help advance their respective missions. For example, donations allow the staff members at Mid-Coast Family Services to go above and beyond their role of providing shelter for the victims of family violence, among other services to the community.

“It’s an enrichment we wouldn’t be able to do otherwise,” said Ginny Stafford, the organization’s chief executive officer.

A pair of warm pajamas and a teddy bear can help a child through that rough first night in a new bed, she noted.

In a similar way, supplies like paper towels will help Adopt-A-Pet and the Dorothy O’Connor Pet Adoption Center find homes for animals. And canned food and other donations will assist the Old Landmark Committee of Victoria in helping to care for children and the elderly in the region as well as organize community celebrations like those honoring Juneteenth, Martin Luther King Day and Black History Month.

Every year, the Student Senate chooses area charities to benefit from the campaign, solicits donations, and makes arrangements to deliver the supplies once the campaign ends.

Lists of needed supplies are available in the University Center foyer and Student Services office.

For more information, contact Janet Foerster, staff adviser for Student Senate and a Student Services generalist, at 361-570-4102 or

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Thomas Doyle 361-570-4342