The COVID 19 Pandemic has caused many economic problems and created a need for more help with meeting basic needs for students at Cerritos College. Diane Merrick, Co-Membership VP for the La-Palma Cerritos Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), said that she heard that many college students were living in cars and lacked food and other necessities and wanted to help students. With the Board’s approval and support, Diane investigated local student needs. Since the La Palma-Cerritos AAUW has a working relationship with Cerritos College, she checked to see if help was needed by students at Cerrito College. She learned from Pamala Sepulveda, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), that 50 to 60 students do come and ask for help with basic needs at Cerritos through their centralized support service called, The Falcon’s Nest. The Falcon’s Nest as been set up to aid students that need food, housing, financial aid, etc. with Pamela Sepulveda as the Case Manager of Falcon Basic Needs.
Pamela provided a list of different food items such as canned food, dried food, cereal, rice, beans, and pasta, etc. She also included a list of personal hygiene items such as toothpaste, deodorants, feminine sanitary pads, tampons, razors, shaving gel, hairbrush, comb, floss, mouthwash, and hand sanitizers.
Armed with Pam’s list of needs, Diane asked members of the La Palma-Cerritos AAUW to donate as many as possible items from the list between March 18 to March 22. Members responded by donating 250 items of food and sundries for Cerritos College students to use. Pam came to Diane’s home in Long Beach to receive all of the donated items on March 22 and posed for a picture with Diane.
After this successful March collection of food items and sundries for Cerritos College students, Diane is already asking for members to donate more food and other items during the next collection days from Wednesday, April 14 to Monday, April 19. Community members who would also like to donate food or other sundries, can contact Diane through her e-mail at [email protected] Diane said that students will know that people care for them when they receive these donated items.