By Emily Ramser
Salem College students are sponsoring 16 children in the Forsyth County foster care system this Christmas season.
Forsyth County’s Department of Social Services has a program through which citizens of Forsyth County can provide presents for children in the system. Each child picks three presents that they would like or need and has their foster parent or social worker write these on a form. In some cases, for younger children, the foster parent chooses what is most needed for the child. The products asked for can range from dolls to clothes to books.
When a member of the community decides to sponsor a child, they receive this form and purchase at least one of the things the child has asked for. The gifts are then wrapped and delivered to the Department of Social Services. The wrapped presents are then taken to the homes of the children, making it possible for them to open a gift on Christmas morning.
Last year, Salem students participated in this program, sponsoring 5 children in Forsyth County. The students involved, primarily Elizabeth Rogers C’15, Amanda Blount C’17 and Emily Ramser C’17, collected a total of over one hundred presents for these five children. They received donations from both individual students and Salem’s Rotaract Chapter.
This year, Ramser, who spearheaded the project, reached out to the heads of clubs at Salem via email. She then followed up by posting an open letter asking students to get involved on Facebook. Ramser heard back from many people and clubs offering their assistance with minutes of posting and emailing. Ten clubs have currently offered to sponsor at least one child. Sights & Insights and Open Up have both offered to sponsor two children. Some students like Sam Thurman C’19 are forming groups with their friends in order to sponsor children outside of Salem’s clubs.
“I grew up with my mother and grandmother, and they always taught me that if you have something to give, you should. You never know what someone is going through. I think that really shows what Christmas is all about, as cliché as it sounds,” said Thurman.
Those interested in volunteering with the project in any way are encouraged to email Ramser at firstname.lastname@example.org.