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DMC students collecting items to make holidays sweeter for local foster children

Article by: Michael Bratten

The holidays are a tough time for children in the foster care system. In fact, more children enter the system during the holiday season due to family stress and financial issues that make parenting harder.

This year, students in the Early Childhood Club and Child Development/Early Childhood program at Del Mar College (DMC) are making a difference in these children’s lives by collecting items they need and delivering them in duffel bags called “Sweet Cases.”


Traditionally, children in foster care are given two trash bags for their belongings as they enter the system or transition within foster care. That’s very sad, and it has an underlying message that they are not worthy individuals. We hope these donations will help to ‘sweeten’ their lives.
Dr. Amy Mintz, associate professor of Child Development/Early Childhood

Using their own money, students began purchasing the duffel bags this fall from Together We Rise, a California-based non-profit organization dedicated to helping foster care children. They hope to fill a total of 20 bags before the donation drive ends on Nov. 30.

“We feel this is an important service learning opportunity for our students to help the children in our community,” Mintz said. “And we’re excited that the donations are staying local.”

The community is invited to donate items to fill the duffle bags, which will be given to children ages 0-12 in Nueces County.

Acceptable items include:

  • Children’s toothbrushes/toothpaste
  • Shampoo/hygiene products
  • New underwear
  • New socks
  • New pillowcases/sheets/blankets
  • Nightlights
  • Sippy cups
  • BPA-free bottled water
  • Fun items such as Play-Doh, coloring books, crayons, markers, children’s books (used or new) and new stuffed animals
  • Gift cards for places such as Get Air Corpus Christi, Play or the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History

Mintz emphasizes that they are not accepting used toys, due to allergies, and clothing other than that specified.

For a complete list of acceptable donation items or for more information, call Mintz at 361-698-1962 or email her at amintz@delmar.edu.

Items can be dropped off from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Morris L. Lichtenstein, Jr. Center for Early Learning, located on DMC’s East Campus at the intersection of South Staples and Kosar streets.

Please note: DMC is closed for the Thanksgiving holiday from Wednesday, Nov. 21 to Friday, Nov. 23.

DMC faculty members and staff on the College’s East and West campuses have been pitching in and filling donation boxes for the past two months, Mintz said.

On Wednesday, Dec. 5, the “Sweet Cases” will be presented to the Foster Angels of South Texas Foundation at the Center for Early Learning. The media will be invited to attend the event.


About Del Mar College

Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.