EHS students pitch in for school’s Angel Child program

Published 9:43 am Tuesday, December 16, 2014

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The Christmas season is a time of giving when many different people and organizations come together to help those in need.
The Student Government Association at Elizabethton High School takes charge of the school’s anonymous Angel Child program to help provide for needs of fellow students, not only through the holidays but through the entire winter season.
SGA adviser Debbie Gouge said the Angel Child program started nine years ago after staff and fellow students noticed examples of need in the student population at EHS.
“Our goal is to see to the needs that our students have,��� Gouge said.
This year, the program has close to 20 students that will receive gifts through Angel Child.
Funding for Angel Child comes from profits from the EHS fall formal, and from a donation of $250 for winning the Living is Giving food drive contest this year.
Initially the program focused on making sure students had what they needed to make it through winter, such as shoes, coats, hats and gloves. The program expanded to include other needs students had other than in the winter. Now, it includes the Angel Child at Christmas in addition to other needs during the year.
Gouge said the program is completely anonymous for the students. The students in the SGA do not know who they are buying for and the student body as a whole does not know who receives the gifts from the Angel Child program.
“We try to make it as anonymous as we can,” Gouge said. “The students are sworn to secrecy, so if they see someone wearing something similar to what they bought, they can’t say anything. It doesn’t mean its the same.”
The list for the shopping trips say, “Girl A”, then list sizes, likes and specific needs. Gouge said the likes help the SGA shoppers personalize their selections.
SGA members Maggie Booher and Caytlin James were picking up last minute items to wrap and finish up the Angel Child presents.
“This really brings to the front what Christmas is all about,” Booher said. “It is about giving and putting others first.”
James agreed the project was a special one for SGA members.
“It really hits close to home, because these are people that we go to school with,” she said. “This helps make sure they have the same Christmas that everyone else has.”
Gouge said this year the program has received more donations than it has in the past to help meet the needs. She said someone donated a box of items for the students and teachers were giving donations specifically for the Angel Child.
“This has far exceeded my expectations this year,” Gouge said. “This has been a terrific group.”
Gouge said presents would be delivered to the students before Christmas by a member of school administration or the EHS School Resource Officer.

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