Families to be assisted with Holiday Helpers

Roberto Hodge and Roberto Hodge

Students, Registered Student Organizations and other organizations provide assistance during the holiday seasons by adopting families, both large and small, as well as the elderly each year.

Crystal Brown, the assistant director of the student community service, said they have been doing the Holiday Helper program for a long time and each year the wish lists of the families change as well as those being adopted.

Brown said adopting the families is free, but there is a commitment to spend around $50 per-person. There are also three categories those who adopt can and usually donate too; some form of a clothing item, household item and a toy.

15 elderly and 15 families have been adopted this year. The number of adopted families and elderly changes every year, Brown said.

The community service office begins putting out the word for their holiday helper program in late October to early November. Those who wish to buy a gift for the family they’re adopting should bring the presents back to the community service office for them to be wrapped, Brown said

Brown said the holiday helper program is special because it is a way for the students and community to get more involved and give back to the elderly and families in need during the holiday season. Each gift the families and elderly receive vary, but they all need clothing and housing items.

She added when it comes to the families the adults usually ask for some item relating to a hobby and the children normally want a toy.

Brown said adopting a family or elder to assist for the holiday can be a rewarding experience for the individual because they are providing items for a family who may not be able to afford them.

What stood out to Brown was there was a year when a group of students provided someone with a bookshelf along with other items on that person’s wish list.

“You can see the sincerity and thought process in the purchase of those items,” Brown said.

The holiday helper program differs from other programs because the student or whoever is holiday adopting is able to assist an entire family rather than a single person, Brown said.

“You help them have a nicer and less stressful holiday,” Brown said.

Roberto Hodge can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]