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Monday, May 2, 2016

FSCC students help with Adopt-a-Child

Friday, December 7, 2012

Lauren York, a sophomore from LaCygne, left and Bailey Conner, a sophomore from Malta Bend, Mo. help other members of the Fort Scott Community College chapter of Phi Theta Kappa wrap Christmas presents on Thursday for children in the Adopt-a-Child program, which is administered by The Beacon.(Laurie Sisk/Tribune)
Fort Scott Community College employees and students are teaming up to make dozens of children's Christmases a little brighter by donating gifts and time to the Adopt-a-Child Program run by The Beacon, a local food pantry and community assistance agency.

Each year, FSCC participates in Adopt-a-Child in coordination with The Beacon, usually adopting about 20 children to buy presents for at Christmas. Each child typically receives three gifts. This year, FSCC participants have nearly doubled that amount, buying gifts for 39 children.

The Adopt-a-Child committee at FSCC has had to go back to the Beacon three times to adopt more kids, adopting about five more kids each time they returned.

FSCC Adopt-a-Child Coordinator Allison Daly said 27 employees adopted kids, along with the FSCC's women's basketball team, which adopted two children, the volleyball team, which adopted five children and the baseball team, which also adopted five. Participants chose paper "ornaments" with a child's name on them and then purchased presents for that child.

"It was really great what the employees have done this year," Daly said. "In the four years that I have been here, we have never run out of ornaments. It was just awesome running out and having to go back to The Beacon for more."

In addition to the purchase of gifts, students are offering their time. On Thursday, Phi Theta Kappa members spent the afternoon wrapping the gifts for the youngsters.

Harold Hicks, Phi Theta Kappa adviser, said one of the four pillars of the organization is service and his PTK students regularly contribute to campus support and community service activities.

"Every year that I have been a sponsor of this organization -- about eight years now -- my students come up with new, and sometimes very imaginative, things to do in terms of campus support and community service," Hicks said. "This year, among other things, we're helping to wrap the presents for Adopt-A-Child and we are glad to do it."

Bob Eckles, director of The Beacon, said in late November that about 150 families with about 300 children had applied for the program.

Under the Adopt-a-Child program, individuals, schools, businesses, churches, clubs and other organizations "adopt" children of families with poverty-level income and provide gifts for those children.

Each "adoptive" family is expected to shop, wrap, label and deliver their gifts to the Community Christian Church on Monday, Dec. 17, or Tuesday, Dec. 18, during business hours. Adopters are provided with a child's first name, clothing sizes and gift suggestions around a $25 price range.

Since its inception in 2006, the program has supplied hundreds of children and families with food and gifts during the Holiday season, which involves dozens of volunteers.

Last year, a record 400 children from 160 families benefited from the program.


Tribune Staff Writer Jason E. Silvers contributed to this report.

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