Western Technical College and its Student Services Department works hard to support the local community in volunteering for vital charity organizations by often times donating time and needed resources. Recently, Western Tech donated computers to a local organization called Aliviane,and students and instructors took time out to set them up. Tina Torres, a Director at Aliviane, explains what the organization is and does: "Aliviane, Inc. is a non-profit, community-based organization with forty years of experience in the provision of addiction and mental health treatment, a comprehensive service continuum, and an actively engaged network of agencies and community supports. The organization provides culturally competent, prevention and intervention services through several components with a unique ability to individualize treatment according to the unique needs of men, women, children, adolescents and families. They include intensive residential treatment, outpatient substance abuse and mental health treatment, supportive services, case management, and trauma services." The computers were set up with games on them for children to use in their activity room. Older children staying at the facility will also be able to use them for homework. Torres also notes that the computers will become a vital component in helping the children and parents interact.
Torres comments on the significance of the computers that were donated and set up: "We have been able to set up a computer lab for the school-age children who use the donated computers on a daily basis. We are also setting up internet services in the lab to help the children with homework; their mothers are also benefiting by enjoying bonding time and experiencing positive interaction with their children by playing computer games with them." She adds, "We are extremely grateful and appreciative of the impact Western Technical College's thoughtfulness has enhanced the time our children spend while under our care."
Other recent Student Services efforts have included collecting and donating school supplies for children in need through the Reynolds Home. "Reynolds Home has been providing emergency and long-term shelter and services to homeless women and children since 1990. The Reynolds Home is located in the El Paso lower valley, is surrounded by trees and provides a lot of space for children to run, play, laugh and find alternatives to the tragedy of being homeless. More than 500 families have resided at the shelter and 95% of the families have gone from Reynolds Home to their own apartments with income and resources to provide for themselves and their children," explains Dorothy Truax, Director of the Reynolds Home.
She also comments, "Staff and students of Western Tech visited the shelter and collected school supplies for the 22 school-aged children in the home. Of course, moms and kids were thrilled! Most families that come to the shelter have no income and very few belongings. Getting their children all of the supplies needed for school can be very expensive. At Reynolds Home, we help the mothers get their children in school and day care and then their goal is to find a job and build a savings. Any donated items that they don't have to buy, allows them to build their savings faster so that they can, with time and hard work, move to a home of their own. We greatly appreciate Western Tech's interest in our families." Western Tech students and staff also collected and donated much needed school supplies to the Candlelighter's organization again this year. For information on how to get involved contact Student Services Coordinator Miriam Fonseca firstname.lastname@example.org.