The Santa Cruz County Office of Education’s Students in Transition (SIT) Program embarked on their second annual Project Rudolf in 2015. Project Rudolf, created in 2014 by Nohemi Macias, Project Coordinator of the Students in Transition Program, and Tiffany M. Smith, an AmeriCorps VIP Fellow, brings Santa and an evening of holiday festivities to homeless families from throughout Santa Cruz County enrolled in our SIT Program.
This second year, Teal Mandzik, our new AmeriCorps VIP Fellow, carried on the project with the help of Martha Siordia and Juana Del Villar, two interns from the University of California Santa Cruz. They did an incredible job hosting fifteen families on December 17 at the Santa Cruz County Office of Education.
Santa walked into the room amid glowing faces and giggling children, the room filled with excitement. Every family member received a gift from Santa. The evening was filled with laughter, little ones running around with their new toys, lights twinkling and snowflake decorations twirling. The families shared past holiday stories over a festive holiday meal. Lots of cookies, milk and eggnog were also shared. Photos were taken with Santa and his elves in the photo booth. The fun-filled evening ended with acapella holiday songs performed by the Soquel High School Choir, creating new holiday memories.
Students in Transition is part of the network of support for families who are struggling. Project Rudolf provided some much needed holiday cheer for these families. Students in Transition would like to thank all of our volunteers, donors and staff that helped to make this evening possible.