Songs of the Season, Orange Santa to Bring Holiday Festivities to The University of Texas at Austin, Friday, Dec. 7

Songs of the Season, a holiday sing-along at The University of Texas at Austin at noon Friday, Dec. 7, will bring students, faculty and together on the West Mall steps of the Main Building to celebrate the holiday season and the generosity of people who have contributed toward the university's Orange Santa gift program.

Songs of the Season features combined choral organizations from the School of Music under the direction of Dr. James M. Morrow.

The annual program concludes the Orange Santa donation drive for 2007. In final preparation for the Holiday Store, Orange Santa and many helpers will be present to accept donations and fill a replica of the university Tower with toys.

Orange Santa began in 1994 as a program to foster a more caring university environment by providing help for members of the university community who have special needs during the holiday season. In December 2006, Orange Santa served 400 families, including 1,500 children.

The program's Orange Santa Holiday Store provides an opportunity for participating families to "shop" for gifts and toys for children in their immediate family. The store is stocked with items contributed through a university-wide donation drive as well as items collected at special events.

New, unwrapped toys or gifts in original packaging and wrapping supplies will be collected at university guard stations on the main campus and at the Pickle Research Campus through Friday, Dec 7. Gifts also are being collected this week at numerous locations throughout the university and some off-campus sites.

The donated gifts this year will be distributed to employee and student families from the university community with special needs during the holiday season. Participants who shop at the Holiday Store complete an application process coordinated by Human Resource Services and in cooperation with the Austin Christmas Bureau.

The University Co-op and the University Federal Credit Union provide financial support to the program.

More information about the Orange Santa program is available online.