Giving back from a distance: SGA hosts 31st annual Adopt-a-Child service project to benefit children at the Broward Sexual Assault Treatment Center
NewsOff-campus December 11, 2020 Admin
As the holiday season began, CCHS Student Government Association (SGA) began their annual Adopt-a-Child service project for the Nancy J. Cotterman Sexual Abuse Treatment Center (SATC). Although adaptations had to be made this year due to COVID-19, SGA still managed to organize this event to give back to their community.
The Adopt-a-Child community service project has been done by CCHS for the past 30 years, with this year being the 31st. This project allows CCHS staff members to “adopt” a child from the center who has been affected by sexual abuse or assault and buy them presents for the holidays. Each staff member encourages their students to donate to the child’s list. This ensures that they receive all of the presents on their wish list, as well as cash that can go toward gift cards.
Typically, SGA wraps all of the presents and goes to the SATC to deliver them. They usually have a catered dinner for the kids with games and a Santa Claus meet-and-greet. However, due to COVID-19, SGA had to alter its plans to secure the safety of all.
“Even though we are not able to hold the actual party for the children and their families, we are still able to surprise them with gifts and gift cards from their wish lists,” SGA Advisor Natalie Flaten said. “This year, we will create gift baskets for each child on our list that will consist of some gifts for them to open, but more so gift cards to their requested stores so that they are able to shop and get what they would really like.”
“Even though we are not able to hold the actual party for the children and their families, we are still able to surprise them with gifts and gift cards from their wish lists.”SGA Advisor Natalie Flaten
SGA has planned to do something they have never done before and create gift baskets for the children to make up for their inability to go to the center in person. The officers and members have worked together to plan this in the safest way possible so that they can still allow those receiving the gifts to enjoy the holidays.
“It’s different this year because we used to be able to go to the center and celebrate with the families and watch them open their presents. This year we aren’t going because of COVID but I’m glad we were still able to do something for them,” SGA Historian Maya Goldberg said. “This community service project is important to me because helping the children and their families celebrate the holidays is an extremely rewarding experience.”
To adjust the way in which CCHS students are able to bring in their gifts and donate money, SGA set up a donation sign-up using the website SignUpGenius. CCHS students, staff and families can directly donate money through this link, as well as sign up for specific gifts. Additionally, SGA is hosting two drop-off days on December 10 and December 14 from 2:45 to 3:30 p.m. This is when students can drop off the gifts they purchased, as well as cash if they did not pay online.
When staff members adopt a child, they are able to select which class(es) or clubs they would like to include in the project. Some teachers encourage all of their classes to donate, while others have their club members participate. This year, Art Club decided to adopt a child as a club to give back.
“If the Art Club can help ease that while warming someone’s heart, that is what the holiday season is all about.”Art Club Sponsor Irma Barr
“This is a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community. 2020 has been a year of struggles for many. If the Art Club can help ease that while warming someone’s heart, that is what the holiday season is all about,” Art Club Sponsor Irma Barr said. “Our goal is to have all of our adopted child’s wish list fulfilled.”
Although this year does not look like previous ones, SGA still wanted to continue this project as it is very important to them. They will be accepting donations through Tuesday, December 15 and will be dropping the gift baskets at the center the following day.
“This is SGA’s favorite event that we do each year because it is so heartwarming to see the joy on these children’s faces, as well as their parent[s] and guardian[s],” Flaten said. “Even though we are unable to spend the time with them during the holiday party and witness first-hand their happiness, we know it’s not about us but about them and that’s what truly matters.”
Photo courtesy of Drew Okun