Project Love returns to Cerritos College


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Enrique Rivera and Enrique Rivera

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Project Love Foundation returns to Cerritos College to provide gifts for kids on the Navajo Reservation near Little Singer Community College in Arizona.

“We take about 200 to 400 kids depending on the situation,” Project Coordinator and professor Marla Burns said.

Project Love is an annual project that has been around for 20 years.

The project focuses on helping children from the Navajo reservation by buying them holiday gifts.

Burns explained what they do with the purchased presents.

“We take [the gifts] over to a staging area, we wrap everything and get them ready to go, and then the Navajos come and pick it up in a truck and take it back out.”

“My little nephews received basketballs, and they love the game,” Anna Edwards, administrative assistant to academic affairs said

She continued with, “Every time [the presents] are out here, [the kids] here to play the next games.”

Burns explains the significant with basketballs to the Navajo reservation by saying, “[The children] love basketball because all you need is a hoop, and one child can play a game by themselves and they become so good that they get to play in college.”

Edwards was born on the reservation before she came to Cerritos with her full-blooded Navajo parents.

“When I go back to the reservation and I see the kids, the gifts that they get from the college are not like anything they get at Christmas time.

“Most of their money that is spent on Christmas.

“The families saved the money to buy hay for their livestock or to do repairs on their stock trailers.”

School faculty has supported most of the presents, but students are also invited to purchase gifts for the Navajo children.

Science Engineering and Math Division secretary Nora Laredo has supported the Foundation for over five years.

“It’s gratifying to know that I’m helping under privileged children, the kids get to have a wonderful Christmas,” Laredo said.

Other faculty members and students are welcomed to participate by contacting Burns at (562) 860-2451, ext. 2808.