For immediate release
Dec. 5, 2003
With the temperature dropping and the holidays approaching, students at Abilene Christian University are thinking about Christmas gifts, but not gifts they’ll receive. They’re thinking about how they can give back to members of the community by adopting angels and throwing Christmas parties for children in the community.
The Adopt an Angel program allows students to provide Christmas gifts for underprivileged children. Paper angels displaying the children’s names, ages and the gifts they want are available for students to pick up in the Campus Center. The last day to turn in donated items is Dec. 8, and this gift will then be distributed, unwrapped, to the families of the angel children.
“These gifts are given to the children’s families to supplement Santa,” said Rita Harrell, administrative coordinator of ACU’s Volunteer and Service Learning Center. “The families can then do with the gifts what they want: put them in stockings or wrap them and put them under the tree. We want these gifts to be from the families, not gifts from us.”
The Treadaway Kids and Wildcat Kids programs also celebrated Christmas with their participants. These are both programs designed to benefit underprivileged or at risk children. Both programs are made up of college student volunteers and serve children from pre-kindergarten to fifth grade.
The Treadaway Kids met at their usual time, 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday night, but this week, they had pizza in their Bible classes. Forty-two children attended, and all received a gift of a stocking stuffed with a winter hat and gloves.
“We wanted to give them something they’d enjoy, but would also be practical and helpful to them,” said Deb Newsom, Treadaway Kids director.
The Wildcat Kids also celebrated with a Christmas party. Wildcat Kids is a program that connects college students with elementary school children from surrounding schools.
The party attended by almost 100 children, took place on Thursday, Dec. 4 at Highland Church of Christ from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. The party included a meal from Subway and a variety of activities, including pin the tail on Rudolph the red-nose reindeer, musical chairs and other crafts and games.
Santa Claus made an appearance and the children got a chance to take pictures with him. The night ended with each child receiving a gift from his or her buddy and opening it together.
Lauren Johnson, committee chair of Wildcats Kids said, “The party was a great time for the kids and their buddies to spend time with one another building relationships.”