Piedmont gives more than 40 families a Merry Christmas

JANIE HARRIS
Editor-in-Chief, News Editor

In its seventh year at Piedmont, the Adopt-a-Child program continues to pull volunteers across the campus to help make the holiday season special for those in need. This year, three student organizations, three Piedmont 1101 classes and more than 30 individ- ual students, faculty members and staff members adopted 43 families within the community.

“By adopting, it truly is that child’s whole Christmas,” said College Chaplain and Director of Church Relations Ashley Cleere.

Cleere explained that the program first started when various students, faculty members and staff members approached her asking for a program where they could donate gifts to families during the holiday season.

“[Giving] is the nature of the season,” said Cleere.

Cleere then approached a counselor working within the local school system who, since then, has connected Piedmont with families in need.

“Generally, it is anonymous,” Cleere said.

She said that it is rare for a volunteer to meet with the family. However, it has happened before. Traditionally, volunteers drop off unwrapped gifts, and Cleere gives the gifts to the counselor; the counselor then distributes them to the families. Some volunteers even adopt the same family or child ever year. Usually, the volunteer is given a picture of the family or child along with a wish list.

Still, while the wish list is included, there is a large focus on the family or child’s needs, such as clothing.

Cleere said that when she is matching a child or family to a volunteer, she tried to focus on the volunteer and the child’s interests. For example, if a student-athlete asked to adopt a child for Christmas, Cleere paired the student-athlete with a child asking for athletic equipment.

“I think whether people participate or not, it says something about our community as a whole that we have this level of generosity, awareness and connection with our community,” Cleere said.

If you are interested in volunteering for the Adopt-a-Child program, contact Cleere at [email protected]