Santa's helpers impact two families at LCCC

Many people bought gifts for friends and family during the holiday season last year. Some even waited until the very last minute before purchasing their presents, but for a group of students at Laramie County Community College planning a gift began early in the semester and is still continuing today.

Sixteen students from Dr. Jolene Klumpp's “Orientation to Human Services” class and the Society of Future Professional Helpers, a new human services club at LCCC, combined to create a project that would impact two families at LCCC in a way that transcended the typical commercialized Christmas so many Americans take for granted by creating a fundraiser, which raised $1,705 to purchase everyday supplies the families could use.

Raven Coward, president of the Society of Future Professional Helpers and a student in Klumpp's class said, they purchased trash bags, soap, cleaning supplies and various household items to help the families with their daily lives instead of providing gifts that would be of little use. However, they also purchased more traditional presents for the children and the mothers.

In the process of creating this project, students with very different backgrounds united for a cause.

Mariah Youngwirth, vice president of SFPH and Klumpp's student, said, "Everyone's personalities came out in this project, and there were some points in which our personalities did 'bump heads,' but we worked through our differences and found a great way to work together."

The students decided to hold a lunch at the Texas Roadhouse and to sell Texas Roadhouse gift cards. Community members could by tickets to the lunch for $10, and Texas Roadhouse donated 60 percent of the purchase price to the students and later offered 70 percent of the purchase price to help the families. The event was held Oct. 19, and the students were responsible for serving, hosting, plating food and busing tables from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. during the day of the event.

The students decided on the project as class though some of the students gave credit to Coward for coming up with the idea. The class then spent time preparing for the event by making the arrangement with Texas Roadhouse and creating tickets to the event, which were sold leading up to the event.

After hosting the event and depositing the money into an account through LCCC, the students met at Walmart and Sam's Club to purchase the gifts for the families.

The gifts were then given to the families, and Youngwirth said, "The families were extremely grateful for their gifts."

The students agreed the project was a great opportunity for everyone involved Mike Bacon, a student in the human services class, said he felt it was a great learning experience, and it was rewarding to give to the families. Another student Desiree Mihaleh said it was great knowing they could help out the families in the community.

Klumpp gave all the credit for the project to her students, and though the students would shift some of the credit to Klumpp, the project was their own.

Youngwirth said, ”Dr. Klumpp made it a point to make it more of our responsibility and less of hers.”

Although the holiday season has ended, some of the students in Klumpp's class recently learned that the transmission in a car of one of the families haved stopped working, so they are currently working to find the resources to help fix the transmission or possibly help purchase a used car for the family.

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