Child Development Center launches donation drive

Jacqueline Sosa, Staff Writer

Everyone at Cal State Long Beach has felt the sting of budget cuts – even the children.

The Isabel Patterson Child Development Center (IPCDC) launched its first Goodies for Kiddies Supply Drive last month as a result of ongoing budget cuts, according to Yanira Lopez, Goodies for Kiddies event coordinator assistant and senior criminal justice major.

The fundraiser, a semester-long event, is designed to collect donations for the center in an effort to meet the high demand for materials used on daily activities, according to Lopez
“Budget cuts mean the IPCDC must reduce the allocation of money to all sorts of areas, including the money for supplies for the children at the center,” Ariane Nguyen, Goodies for Kiddies event coordinator and sophomore liberal studies major, said via email.

Funding for the IPCDC from the California Department of Education started dropping in the 2010 fiscal year, according to IPCDC Director Rhonda Marikos. Since 2009, the center has seen a reduction of about 25 percent in state funding, she said. The budget for the IPCDC has gone from $212,894 in 2009 to $163,886 this year.

Donation boxes hand-painted by children and staff members at the IPCDC have been placed at various locations on campus, such as at the Nugget Grill and Pub, the Student Recreation and Wellness Center and the University Bookstore.

Students, staff and community members may place their donations in these boxes on any day of the week.

“Our main objective is to place donation boxes where there are many people in common places,” Lopez said via email.

According to Nguyen, the center is in immediate need of gloves and tissues, as these items are used the most on a daily basis. A full list of the IPCDC’s needed items can be found on the sides of the donation boxes and on the center’s Orgsync page.

Nguyen initiated the start of the supply drive after talking with Marikos. They decided the best way to meet the IPCDC’s supply demand was through a donation drive.

“I thought, why not hold a supply drive and get the CSULB students and staff involved?” Nguyen said. “Since most of the goodies are everyday items, students and staff could get these items from their own homes.”

Prior to the drive, staff members from the center have had to purchase the materials themselves without any reimbursements, according to Lopez and Nguyen.

“Due to daily usage in the center, the expenses have begun to add up,” Lopez said. “Therefore, as a mean to reduce the stressor the budget cuts have caused the staff members at the center, the IPCDC Board of Trustees, decided to hold the event all semester long.”

The donation boxes will be checked weekly and brought back into the IPCDC as they are filled throughout the semester. Donations will then be allocated based on the center’s needs.