Recently, 108 student-volunteers from University of the Cumberlands gathered at the front of the Williamsburg Walmart store to shop for Christmas presents for local children.
“The overall event of giving toys and food to families in need is what Christmas is all about,” said Sam Hurst, a member of the football team from Dacula, Georgia.
For the past 11 years, Mountain Outreach, a service organization at Cumberlands, has hosted the Midnight Shopping Spree with assistance from Walmart and volunteers from across the university, including athletes from track and cross country, archery, bowling and women’s lacrosse. During the event, students shopped for gifts that were later distributed to 180 families at Mountain Outreach’s annual Gift Day.
As the event started, students divided into groups and took slips of paper listing the number of gifts needed for a specific age and gender. Each gift was to be in a price range of $10 to $20.
“In the spirit of Christmas, make it personal,” Hensley said during his opening remarks.
In total, students collected 812 gifts, allowing each child to receive two gifts.
“I believe this is one of the greatest events UC does every year,” said Brad Paynter, a member of the men’s bowling team from Carlisle, Ohio. “There’s no [better] way to show Christmas spirit than through the gift of giving.”