Santa heads South for Christmas

Pepperdine junior Karah Lockman holds her sponsored child, Natali, at the Santa Run Christmas party in Tijuana last year. Natali is one of many children who will be receiving presents from volunteers again this year.

In true form of the holiday spirit, students at Pepperdine University, amid their busy schedules of closing out the semester, are gearing up for another round of their traditional Santa Run-an annual charity program in which campus volunteers collect Christmas gifts and deliver them to underprivileged children in Mexico.

The program has been running for several years and each December the campus becomes dotted with paper Christmas trees adorned with ornaments on which appears the name of one needy child, their age and what they want for Christmas. Pepperdine students then select an ornament and compile a gift package from donated presents.

Come the end of finals week, members of the Pepperdine Volunteer Center along with other student volunteers will head south of the border to make their deliveries just in time for Christmas.

“There’s been a surprisingly high interest among the student body … we always fill up the office with presents,” said Amanda Dudley, a Pepperdine junior majoring in psychology who oversees the event. “It’s amazing they find time to buy presents between finals and everything else,” Dudley added.

This year’s project will take students to the cities of Tijuana and San Felipe. The gifts will be dispersed during two Christmas parties held at a local church and an orphanage in each of the cities visited. The students and volunteers will leave Dec. 17 and return Dec. 18.

For more information contact the Pepperdine University Volunteer Center at 310.506.4143.