By Ashley Bailey
, Wednesday, December 20, 2006
From GIA, Carlsbad, Calif. - The Gemological Institute of America’s (GIA) annual holiday gift drive, organized by Institute staff and students, collected more than $7,826 this year in cash, toys, and food. As a result, 360 gifts and 72 dinners will be given to local families in need during the holidays.
The staff and students presented the funds and gifts to two north San Diego County nonprofit organizations, Hospice of the North Coast and The Elizabeth Hospice, on Dec. 13. Both hospice organizations provide physical, emotional, spiritual, and bereavement support for terminally ill patients, their families, and the community.
“We appreciate the generous help GIA is giving the Elizabeth Hospice families this year,” said Julie Schardin, major gifts officer for The Elizabeth Hospice. “Many of our patients are going through intensely vulnerable and emotionally difficult situations, and experiencing financial need at the same time. With GIA’s help, we are better able to provide care and comfort to some of our patients and their families who may be spending their last holiday season together.”
Le Ayn Ingels,executive director of the Hospice of the North Coast, said that GIA’s gift drive will benefit several grieving children of varying ages. “We are grateful to GIA’s staff and students for their kind generosity, and hope their gifts will help make the holidays a little brighter for these children.”
The Institute’s fund-raising efforts consisted of a combined gift, food, and cash drive held during November and December at its world headquarters and Robert Mouawad Campus in Carlsbad.
GIA has organized a charitable drive to aid local families in need over the holidays every year since 1996. Since then, GIA has donated approximately $54,826 in gifts, food, and cash to a variety of community recipients and organizations.
“I am always impressed by the generosity of our staff and students,” said Carol Moffatt, GIA’s Events manager and chair of its holiday committee. “It’s wonderful to help our neighbors in need this holiday season.”