DOBSON — The adage “to give is better than to receive” rings true with Surry Community College’s Angel Tree program.
Audrey Mahan, Student Government Association (SGA) president, and Jai Lor, SGA parliamentarian, know first hand what it is like to be a recipient of Angel Tree programs, which is why giving back to the community means so much to them.
“It blesses my heart,” Mahan said as she was finalizing purchases for the children on her Angel Tree shopping list. “I’ve been where those parents have been, not having a clue knowing what I was going to do for my kids at Christmas. And, I’ve been there as a child, when my dad was out of work and my mom had just had a baby and was out of work, too. This program helps the parents as much as it does the kids. Being on the child side is hard, but being on the parent side is harder.”
Mahan’s favorite part of working as the SCC student body president for two years has been doing fundraisers to support the Angel Tree program. Last year, 60 families asked for assistance through the Office of Student Services at SCC, and this year 40 families will benefit. The program provides $60 to purchase clothing, shoes and toys for each child’s Christmas.
“I hope the fact that the numbers are down means that families are doing better this year,” Mahan said.
Mahan is on track to graduate from SCC in the spring with an associate’s degree in early childhood education and with two certificates in business administration and accounting.
Jai Lor said he wants to go into recreational therapy after graduating from Surry. “Participating in the Angel Tree program means a lot to me because people did this for me when I was younger,” she said. “It’s very fun, and I love it. I wish I could do this every year.”
Other SGA officers also felt like they were doing something worthwhile for the community through the Angel Tree program.
“It feels good to be able to help other people and bring smiles to children’s faces, especially knowing this might be the only Christmas presents they get,” Courtland Wagoner said.
The Angel Tree project provides Lauren Henderson with a perspective of the holiday season.
“Christmas is about giving back. People get caught up in the consumerism of the holidays, but that’s not what it’s about,” she said. “The Angel Tree program is the true meaning of Christmas, helping others and giving back.”
“I’ve done similar projects like this in the past three years,” said Randy Sprinkle who added the Angel Tree program is a great way to reach out to kids.We help kids with toys, but we are also giving them clothes and things that can help them throughout the year.”
SCC’s Coordinator of Student and Community Engagement, Kasey Martin, assisted the SGA officers with shopping.
“It feels great to help give back to the community especially helping children who can’t provide for themselves,” Martin said. For more information about the Angel Tree program or to make a donation, contact Martin at (336) 386-3468 or firstname.lastname@example.org.