The gift just kept growing.
Women’s Voices of Glynn County, a local nonprofit that advocates for positive change in the community, set out last month with a goal to provide gifts to nearly 50 students in three classrooms at Head Start, a federally-funded preschool program in Brunswick.
Due to the outpouring of support the group received, though, they were able to do even more this holiday season.
“Last year, we had a goal of sponsoring one class (at Head Start), but our donations were so overwhelming that we were able to do two,” said Sara Best, a founding member of Women’s Voices of Glynn County and one of the project’s leaders. “So this year, we decided, well let’s go for three.”
While they were collecting gifts for the project, Best said, Melinda Ennis-Roughton, the executive director of Family Connection Glynn County, approached the group and asked if they could also help two families at Amity House, a shelter for women who’ve experienced domestic violence and their children.
“We absolutely said ‘yes,’ and were able to provide for two mothers, one with two infants and then another with four children,” Best said. “We provided them with hopefully everything that they needed for a really good Christmas — everything from a stroller to a crib to bikes and toys and clothing.”
The group collected gifts by asking its more than 400 members to contribute.
“Typically, each child gets a toy and clothing — an outfit that they can wear to school and undergarments and socks and stuff like that,” Best said. “… We were so excited that we were able to exceed our Head Start goal from last year.”
After dropping off the gifts, though, there was still a surplus of donations. So Best said the group decided to help a local young woman pay off some student debt.
“She’s a student at Coastal Georgia, and she lost some family this past year,” Best said. “She’s putting herself through school on her own and working and doesn’t really have much, if any, family support … She had a debt of her textbooks, and we were able to help pay those off.”
Women’s Voices members played a huge role in making these gifts happen, Best said.
“Our group really stepped up to the plate,” she said. “It was just really awesome to see the amount of giving.”
Many who donated were thankful just for the chance to give, she said
“What I love is that when people would drop off their gifts, they would thank me but they were really thanking the organization for the opportunity to give," she said. “I just thought that was such a great way of looking at it.”
Spotlight on Schools appears Thursdays. Contact Lauren McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 265-8320, ext. 322 to suggest a topic for a column.