Giving Back to the Community through Christmas Projects
Faculty, staff and students at Gadsden State Community College have worked to make the holiday season a little brighter for the less fortunate in our community.
The Christmas Showcase, which is held every November in conjunction with the Miss Gadsden State Community College Pageant, was the biggest fundraiser coordinated by the College. More than $2,600 was raised during the seventeenth annual event and silent auction with all proceeds being donated to the Salvation Army. Since the program began in 1994, more than $65,600 has been donated to charitable organizations.
Deb Reynolds, electrical technology instructor, coordinated a coat drive collecting more than 300 coats that were donated to area shelters and mission centers. The drive will continue through January. Reynolds said that she is continually amazed by the outpouring of support from and generosity of the Gadsden State family. The annual drive began in 2005 and this year’s donations make a total of more than 1,700 coats donated since the project began.
Student clubs actively participated in several community projects. Phi Theta Kappa, a student honor society, collected small toys, outerwear, school supplies, bibles, games and toiletries for children (infants-age 16) during their annual Christmas stocking stuffer event. The stockings were donated to the Salvation Army. Phi Theta Kappa has participated in this event for the past 10 years. In addition, they read Christmas stories to children at Donehoo Elementary School each Friday in December.
The Student Government Association, Baptist Campus Ministry, psychology and English students collected non-perishables for the community food bank. The Science, Math and Engineering Club and the International Club adopted families for Christmas, providing food, clothing and toys. Wallace Hall Fine Arts Department offered free holiday movies for students and the community. Circle K assisted with the Gadsden Christmas Parade and collected toys for the Toys for Tots project. Students from the Community College Initiative volunteered to help with The Father’s Heart Food Bank, Big Brothers Big Sisters, American Heart Association, and Eagle Rock Boy’s Ranch.
Employees at Gadsden State provided food, clothing and toys to the less fortunate families in Cherokee County through the Nettie King Brown Clearinghouse and for the Second Chance in Anniston. They also worked with the United Way Agency of Etowah, Calhoun and Cherokee Counties to provide needed items and holiday gifts for 18 families affected by the April 27 tornado as part of the long-term recovery project. Many employees and students helped the Family Success Center in Gadsden and Second Chance in Anniston by volunteering to wrap gifts at both Colonial and Quintard Mall.
Gadsden State is proud to help those in need in during the holidays and throughout the year. The faculty and staff are very committed to being a vital part of the communities we serve.