Otero Junior College and the Child Development Services Central Office work together for charitable causes during the holiday season each year. This year, their efforts were split between a toy drive benefiting needy children in Otero, Bent and Crowley counties and a silent auction with proceeds benefiting Arkansas Valley Hospice.

 Otero Junior College and the Child Development Services Central Office work together for charitable causes during the holiday season each year. This year, their efforts were split between a toy drive benefiting needy children in Otero, Bent and Crowley counties and a silent auction with proceeds benefiting Arkansas Valley Hospice.

The toy drive, which began during the fall semester, included donations from OJC and CDS staff and faculty along with OJC students. Together these groups collected several gift bags filled with toys, candy, clothing, books and a variety of items for boys and girls ages 0-15. Gift bags were given to the Child Development Services for distribution to the children and their families.

According to Debbie Phillips, coordinator of OJC Campus and Community Events, the toy drive was an opportunity for OJC students to participate in a charitable cause that they could relate to and be an active part of through a campus club, organization or sports team.

In addition, each year OJC and CDS host a silent auction with items donated by staff and faculty. This year the silent auction raised $880.50 that was donated to Arkansas Valley Hospice. Items sold in the silent auction varied from food items like homemade pickles and salsa, pies, candy, arts, crafts and purchased items.

Shamay Smith, office manager for the Arkansas Valley Hospice said, “We are so appreciative of the efforts and the donation that OJC/CDS gave to our organization. This is a wonderful surprise and their support shows the kind of community that we live in, generous and caring.”

The year’s holiday party theme was “Home for the Holidays.” Members of the holiday party committee made cookies and candies which were served during the gathering along with eggnog and cider.