Mountain Outreach passes out gifts at local elementary schools
Giving back to the community, making a difference in the lives of others, and being a positive influence are values that University of the Cumberlands (UC) strives for on a daily basis. Everyone from the administration to faculty to students to athletic teams to organizations at UC take pride in helping to be the solution to the problems and providing a helping hand to people when they are in need of it most.
At UC, the Mountain Outreach (UC) program challenges themselves to go above and beyond when answering this call throughout the year to make the community a better place. With few places to turn to these days, MO can always be counted upon by everyone to do everything in their power to show others that they are not forgotten and there are people that care about them.
“The message we are trying to communicate to these kids is the joy of giving,” said MO Director Marc Hensley. “While children certainly and rightfully get many gifts during this time, our goal is to allow them to experience the joy of being able to give a gift.”
Recently, Mountain Outreach was on full display at Pleasant View Elementary and Boston Elementary as the group visited with children to pass out gifts for them to take home to their parents for Christmas. In all a total of 93 kids were able to get a present for both mom and dad that they wouldn’t have been able to do without the help of MO.
Also helping with the cause was the Patriots archery and men’s basketball teams’ as they were on hand to talk with the kids as while assisting with the presents. Each child was able to get a mom and dad mug in individual gift bags to take home to put under the tree for their parents Christmas morning.
“We as Christians recognize the Gift of Salvation that God gave us through the birth of Jesus and we do that through Christmas and gift giving, we want to make sure that children realize that giving, a gift or of themselves brings about happiness and joy just as much as getting or receiving,” said Marc. “That’s the meaning of The Gift that God has given us. That’s what this event is all about.”
Mountain Outreach has been nationally recognized for its work several times: the Action Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty selected it as one of ten charities to receive the Samaritan Award; USA Today noted the program in its 1996 “Make a Difference Day” competition; and President George H. Bush honored Mountain Outreach as his 220th Daily Point of Light.