Many of us enjoyed the holiday season and the good feelings it brought along with it. However, sometimes we take for granted these times of cheer, and ignore anything outside our own lives. Lorena Medrano, a coordinator in the Dept. of Biomedical Sciences, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, and employees of TTUHSC have been quietly making sure others less fortunate are able to experience holiday cheer for nearly 15 years.
Medrano continues the vision of her former director, the late Rebecca Pierce. Back in 2000, Pierce, a research assistant with a TTUHSC project identifying issues and illnesses in migrant farm workers, and Medrano, began an unofficial Christmas collection of items for farm workers and their families. “What motivated me was the need in people, as well as the generosity of Texas Tech employees.”
At the beginning, employees wanted to help, but didn’t know how. Eventually Medrano began collecting donations from the generous employees, and anyone else willing to give. Once collected, Medrano delivers donations such as toys, canned goods, or clothing items, to people living in the outskirts of Ciudad Juarez, as well as the Centro de Trabajadores Agricolas Fronterizos which is a shelter for migrant workers in downtown El Paso. Medrano says that the collection of donations is a year-long commitment, but is heavily concentrated during the holidays. “The most rewarding experience was when Texas Tech employees sent their help to a mother in Juarez suffering from lupus.” Their donations helped to make a great difference in the family’s life.
Medrano documents her giving through photos to show employees where their donations have reached. “I try to capture that in pictures so my co-workers can see the difference they make in people’s lives.” Medrano is grateful for the generosity of her fellow employees as well as the people who donate. “I have been amazed by the employees… I can’t find the words to describe it, but it’s wonderful to know they are so caring. I wish to thank every employee that has supported the drive through the years. I’m very thankful for that. I also thank the TTUHSC Staff Senate for their donations.”
Medrano intends keep the yearly drive alive for as long as she can. As long as someone is willing to donate, she will do whatever she can to help. “If you have it in your heart to give, don’t think twice about it.”
Medrano can be contacted at email@example.com for any information about the drive, or about donations.