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Holidays Made a Little Brighter by Adopt-a-Friend Program

SUNY Plattsburgh collected gifts and money to make the holidays happy for more than 125 Clinton County families through the Adopt-a-Friend Program.

In what has become an annual effort, students, faculty and staff raised funds and shopped for families whose names were provided by the county Department of Social Services. The department identified teenagers in foster care and families experiencing hardships, and the college’s Office of Student Activities and Volunteerism, in turn, solicited campus sponsors for everyone on the list.

Another $1,500 in donations bought 75 food baskets for the families identified.

Other essentials were purchased as well, including snow suits, hats, mittens, gloves and things not necessarily found on a youngster’s Christmas list.

“We are very grateful, and the parents of these children very thankful for everything given to them at this time of year,” said Susan Wright, preventive services unit supervisor at the Department of Social Services. “Given their struggles, these families are doing the best they can, but the extra gifts for their children mean so much.

“I can’t say how much we appreciate the college’s generosity. It’s almost overwhelming how many gifts come in from the Adopt-a-Friend program. We’re touched and very, very grateful. I honestly don’t know what we’d do without this help.”

Student and staff volunteers will transport the gifts to the Department of Social Services next week for distribution to the needy families.

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