‘Tis the Season for Winter Wishes

A photo of gifts for local children as part of the Winter Wishes program.
Winter Wishes brings together the Cal Poly Humboldt community to bring joy to local children.
Sitting piled high on a table are toys, clothes, and electronics ready to be wrapped and delivered to children throughout Humboldt County as part of Cal Poly Humboldt’s Winter Wishes program. This year, over 350 gifts will be delivered. 

The Winter Wishes program brings together the campus community to purchase gifts for local children who may not receive any during the holiday season. It was started by former Humboldt employee Bill Clem over 25 years ago. Since 2015, it’s been coordinated by Forever Humboldt. Every year, sponsors sign up to shop for and provide children with specific gifts they asked for, ensuring a personalized and happy experience for each child.

“One of the things that I love about this great program is that it was initiated by one person, Bill, who wanted to bring holiday cheer to kids in local shelters. Over the years, it has been passed on and sustained by many supporters, including local non-profits, donors, and individuals who spend time wrapping gifts. The holiday season is all about giving back, and this program is a beautiful example of that,” says Stephanie Lane, Alumni Relations executive director.

This year, 71 supporters, including alumni, staff, faculty, students, athletic teams, student clubs, and local community members, signed up to spread holiday cheer and sponsor a child in need. A total of 83 Humboldt children will receive gifts this season. 

“The program’s longevity has inspired donors, students, and the community to unite yearly and spread the holiday spirit,” Lane says.