‘Love’ for Native Americans

Frank Gonzalez

Cerritos College will continue to sponsor Project L.O.V.E. in an effort to provide Native American children with some much-needed joy this holiday season.

Project L.O.V.E., which was founded in 1963, has provided gifts to three major Native American schools in Arizona for 46 years.

English professor Marla Burns, who coordinates Cerritos College’s participation in Project L.O.V.E., said, “This is a wonderful cause. Many of these children don’t receive any gifts throughout the year.”

Cerritos, which has participated in this event for 18 years, has done so in honor of Fine Arts Division secretary Anna Edwards’ father, who was not only a traditional Navajo Indian but also a resident on these reservations.

While Project L.O.V.E. does help the Little Singer Community School, the Black Mesa Chapter School and the Leupp School, only one in particular is aided by Cerritos.

Cerritos has provided hundreds of gifts to children from the Little Singer Community School, located on the Navajo reservation in Birdsprings, Ariz. with the help of faculty, staff, students and community members.

Project L.O.V.E., however, has lost its biggest partner when Boeing, who had originally founded the program, was forced to discontinue its support because of economic downturn.

Despite this major loss however Cerritos has come to the aid of the program which has been renamed Project L.O.V.E. II and will single handily support the program this year with minimal support from Boeing.

With unemployment rates as high as 80 percent on these reservations, many of these children will receive nothing for Christmas and will rely heavily on Project L.O.V.E. for any type of gift.

With roughly 120 kids enrolled at the Little Singer Community School, all help is needed as this program is purely voluntary and is not bank-rolled by any organization.

Burns stated, “We don’t go around the school asking for help, it’s merely a program where faculty, students and staff give out of the kindness of their heart.”

Many students on campus, however, are unaware of this program such as biochemistry major Minn Rodriguez who said, “That sounds like a wonderful program but I had no clue we had something like that on campus.”

With plenty of time still left for students to participate in this event everyone is encouraged to contact English professor Marla Burns for further information on what they can do to make a child’s Christmas a little brighter.