While the pandemic made this fall a challenging one for student organizations, Kidz N’ Coaches—the mentoring club at Mohawk Valley Community College—was able to make the holidays a little brighter for local children.
For 37 years, Kidz N’ Coaches has given MVCC students the opportunity to volunteer as mentors and provide positive experiences for kids in the community. In addition to serving as mentors, club members plan activities throughout the year, like bowling, a visit to the pumpkin patch, and the highly anticipated holiday party, with a full spread of food, Christmas tree, gifts, and a visit from Santa.
This year, however, in-person meetings between the students and their mentees were not allowed, and all group activities were canceled. There was no party to plan. There was no tree to decorate.
But the kids still had wish lists, so Kidz N’ Coaches got to work.
Club member Josephine Ochoa, along with advisors Associate Professor Rich Kelly and Assistant Professor Dina Radeljas, were able to gather 60 wish lists and plan a socially distanced shopping trip. The gifts were then wrapped and delivered.
“It’s an honor to be part of a club that values spreading love, joy, and giving back so much,” said Josephine, a Criminal Justice major graduating in December 2020. “Because of Kidz N’ Coaches, 60 kids will get a gift for the holiday, and that’s a great feeling.”