By SARAH SMAGUR
Christmas is quickly approaching, and Piedmont College has embraced the spirit of giving in a big way.
Adopt-a-Child has been a long-standing program in Habersham County, and Piedmont joined in to spread the holiday cheer. In this increasingly devastating economy, families may have trouble satisfying their child’s wants and needs. That’s why Santa’s helpers throughout the county are stepping up and helping to provide children with items for a memorable Christmas.
At Piedmont, Adopt-a-Child is sponsored through the Chaplain’s Office, but it is made possible by the community partner, Parents as Teachers, maintained by Prevent Child Abuse Habersham. A parent educator visits families in need regularly all year to find out the sizes the children wear, what they need and what toys they would like to have.
Piedmont began working with the Adopt-a-Child program in 2009, adopting four children, and since then has adopted over 90 children. This year, Piedmont will touch the lives of 45 children and their families.
“There is a great deal of need in this county and this region,” said Piedmont College Chaplain Ashley Cleere. “For most, if not all, of the children, the gifts from Piedmont will be all that they receive.”
Each organization on campus is asked to sponsor a child, and this year, 30 different individuals, offices, departments, clubs and schools answered the call. They are then emailed a description of who the child is, along with a picture, and a copy of their needs and wants. It is asked that each child receives at least two shirts and two pairs of pants, as well as anything else they have specified on their needs list, such as shoes, a coat, hat and gloves. Each child should also receive at least one toy. The organizations pick up the items, and deliver them unwrapped to the Chaplain’s office by Friday, December 6.
The Walker School of Business held a raffle to raise money for their sponsorship, and through generous donations, are able to sponsor five children this year. The raffle included four different gift baskets: Home Sweet Dorm won by Torrey McDowell, Piedmont Pride won by Neal Pulliam, Hole in One won by Andy Monk, and Movie Night won by Bob Glass. Katie Coker, along with student workers Audrey Schroyer, Leah Mooney, Maryrose Burns and Sarah Gesualdo put together the raffle for the business school. The drawing took place Nov. 22 in the bottom floor of Daniel.
Cleere feels this program is a necessary one at Piedmont College and in the community, and cites it as one of her favorite activities of the year.
“A college education should not only affect individuals,” said Cleere, “but the communities where we live, work, and study.”
If you would like to make a donation for Adopt-a-Child, please see Ashley Cleere in the Chaplain’s Office.