Office of Campus Minister Sponsors Adopt-A-Child Christmas Program


Piedmont students and faculty have the opportunity to sponsor underprivileged families in the Habersham area this Christmas through the Adopt-A-Child/Family program, coordinated by the Office of Campus Minister.

The program originally began under the direction of Reverend Ashley Cleere, before her resignation. According to Campus Minister Tim Garvin-Leighton, the program has been very successful in the past among faculty and staff, with little student participation. This year, senior Katie Mercardante and sophomore Emily Pierce are sharing the responsibilities in putting this program together. Pierce works with community contact Christina Davis, who provides information about the families in need.

“I receive emails from Christina with wish lists and pictures of all of the children, as well as any information about the families,” said Pierce. “Like if it was a single-parent household or if the parents would benefit from a Walmart gift card for groceries.”

She is then responsible for matching sponsors with a child or an entire family, depending on the sponsors’ preferences. Pierce does take into consideration any preferences that the volunteer has about gender and age range of the adopted child. After being assigned a child or children, volunteers are given a wish list, including toys or clothing items with sizes and favorite colors of the children.

Pierce has worked on this program in the past with Cleere and said that it is a great way to lend a hand to the community and make a difference in someone else’s life. While Pierce organizes the sponsors, Mercardante is responsible for publicizing the program. She advertises and helps students become aware of the opportunity to help those in need. Although this is her first time working on the project, she is excited to be a part of it.

“A lot of these families aren’t fortunate enough to have a lot of the things that we take for granted, so they get super excited about little things,” said Mercardante. “Any little thing makes them happy, so anything helps.”

Gifts for this program are due to Reverend Leighton’s office by Friday, Dec. 2. From there, they will be given to Davis to distribute to the families for them to enjoy on Christmas morning. Anyone interested in sponsoring a family or child can contact Emily Pierce at [email protected].