» By Andrew Wadovick

Staff Writer

Shopping for Christmas gifts every year is a challenge. Having to figure out what every family member wants and deciding how to balance it with your budget can be a tough endeavor. It is especially challenging when you don’t necessarily have the resources required to get what your children want.

However, APSU has a program designed specifically for those kinds of families who take on a little extra stress when Christmas rolls around.

Help-an-Elf was created in 1994 by the Office of Student Affairs with the intention of providing for families who can’t always afford a part of the Christmas celebration every year.

According to the registration page on APSU’s website, “More than 78 children of eligible APSU students were ‘adopted’ … by staff, faculty and students in 2012 and 75 children in 2011.”

In order for families to be accepted, they must go through a verification process held by the Office of Student Affairs.

Eligible students must be full time and meet minimum salary requirement. Once the student is verified, a list is compiled of their children’s wish list, and it is then up to student volunteers to deliver on that wish list in time for the holiday season.

Help-an-Elf, on average, accepts 60-70 families. As of Monday, Dec. 1, they only have about four or five open families who have not been adopted by volunteers.

Help-an-Elf hopes to serve this need until it is no longer necessary.

Like many charities, Help-an-Elf relies heavily on volunteers. Volunteers are supported by many campus departments, and as the program reaches its 20th year of helping families, it still proves its importance to the APSU community.

Student Affairs hopes to continue this tradition in the future.

The program offered applications for prospective families starting on Thursday, Nov. 27, and plans to continue to accept them until Friday, Dec. 12, when it hopes to deliver the presents to the “adopted” children of APSU students.