Southwest Georgia Technical College faculty, staff and students displayed the true meaning of Christmas this past holiday season. Starting last November, SWGTC students and club advisors developed the “Adopt-A-Family” program, which was designed to assist SWGTC students that were enrolled in classes and unable to provide Christmas for their families.
“This program was about helping our own. Every canned food item, every small and large gift, every dollar, made a difference in the lives of the families that received help. Some of the family members who received gifts were a little embarrassed about needing assistance but as one student who donated stated, ‘I have had to ask for help before, and I am glad to now be able to help someone else.’ We learned that when we give, we also receive, and that makes it all worthwhile,” Michael Young, M. Ed., SWGTC psychology faculty.
Students and their families were nominated by faculty, staff or other students and screened by a committee before being accepted into the program. If the family met the requirements for assistance, they were adopted by multiple groups and individuals at the College, who then purchased and donated various gifts to those families for Christmas morning. Six families and 14 children benefited from the program this year making it a great success.
Some of the items collected included clothing, bicycles, electronic learning pads, comforters, sheets, games, and much more. Along with the presents that were collected, over $530 in monetary donations were raised. This money went to purchase other gifts for the children and Wal-Mart gift cards for each family to purchase any other items they might need during the holidays. In addition to the gifts and monetary donations, food items were collected. Those food items were divided up between the families to provide them with a Christmas meal.
“It is very heartwarming that our faculty, staff and students took it upon themselves to be so giving during the recent holidays. Their purchasing of food and gifts for underprivileged children and families exemplifies the spirit of the season. I feel it is important for us as a College to do our part in community service and our faculty, staff and students did a magnificent job of that during the holidays. When those families came to pick up their items, it made all of us realize how important this project was for our students,” Dr. Craig Wentworth, SWGTC president.
SWGTC administration feels honored to have so many caring individuals as members of the college’s family. The assistance these students received during the holidays allowed them to focus more on their studies and final exams, instead of worrying about how they would provide Christmas for their families. SWGTC hopes to make this an annual project and has high hopes that it will only improve over time.
Southwest Georgia Technical College is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.