Markayla Bedford | Staff Writer

Looking forward to the holidays and the spirit of giving? Student Affairs is hosting a charity program called Help an Elf. This program’s sole purpose is to assist fully enrolled APSU students with children during the holidays. It is open to anyone looking to donate to those in need of assistance.

APSU Student Affairs has been sponsoring this event since 1994. It has grown over the years and has become a tradition for the students at APSU, and it continues to benefit the community. Every year has had some students who are just looking for a little help with supporting their children during the holidays.

One of the benefits of the program is it is a way for the organization’s staff and faculty to give back to students in need. This is not just limited to the staff though. Any student can sign up and help with giving back to the community.

“I just thought it would be great to give back,” freshman psychology major LaQuinta Hunt said. “I am so used to just receiving, but never giving.”

Many families have been heavily impacted by the effects of this charity program. Student Affairs makes it their job to ensure that they have something under the tree. Whether it is just the basic necessities or just something that they have had on their Christmas lists.

Not only is there gift-giving for the children, but family adoptions by different APSU departments as well. There are many departments that prefer to make it a tradition to adopt a family, rather than just giving gifts.

Adoptions begin on Nov. 22 for any offices, individuals, or departments to adopt families.

The purpose of adopting an elf is to have a particular group of people or person give to a specific family in need. Packages for this will be available until Dec.8. In 2015, more than 60 children were adopted by either faculty, staff or students. Coordinator of the Help-an-Elf program, Diana Forte, said last year saw roughly 38 individual adoptions.

“I am really in awe of the outcome of the event and at how many are willing to give, including APSU students,” Forte said. “Committing time and money really speaks to the community.”