It’s a familiar time of year for Angie Smith and Sarah Wallace, who coordinate their respective schools’ youth services centers and fill up their shopping carts with holiday gifts for students in need.
But unlike most families scrambling for a Nintendo Switch or anything associated with the movie “Frozen 2,” Smith and Wallace stock up mostly on the essentials.
Shoes, socks, self-care items and winter coats are the most common things they buy, along with a few low-cost “wish-list” items thrown in, like board games.
“This could be the one time of year that they get a new pair of shoes,” said Wallace, the assistant coordinator of the youth services center at Henry F. Moss Middle School. There, more than 80 percent of students qualify for free and reduced-price meals under the federal government’s income eligibility guidelines.
“They really just want the basics,” Wallace said.
It isn’t easy to ensure that every student in need gets something for Christmas, but both coordinators said Community Education’s Teen Angel program helps ease some of the pressure.
“It’s been a godsend for me as a coordinator,” said Smith, of Warren East High School’s youth services center.
On Friday, visitors to the Starbucks locations on Scottsville Road and Campbell Lane will have the opportunity to both support Teen Angel and see their donations go twice as far, with program sponsor Crocker Law matching all individual donations received during a donation blast from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.
During the blast, Teen Angel volunteers will be on hand at the Starbucks on Scottsville Road to accept tax-deductible monetary donations, and gift cards to Walmart, Meijer, Target, Kohl’s and the Greenwood Mall will also be accepted, a news release said.
For nine years, Community Education has been working with Crocker Law to help boost the impact of donations made through the annual gift drive.
Last year, the donation blast raised more than $16,000 in a single day, said Joshua Smith, who coordinates Teen Angel for Community Education.
“If people are looking at wanting to make a bigger impact, that’s definitely the day to give,” Smith told the Daily News.
– For more information about Teen Angel, inquiries can be made to Community Education at 270-842-4281.
– Follow education reporter Aaron Mudd on Twitter @BGDN_edbeat or visit bgdailynews.com.