Helping UWT Families in Need

The UWT community has found a new way to spread cheer this holiday season by bringing Glee to UWT. This has been a joint effort between ASUWT, SAB, and several other student organizations.

During the holiday season everyone is eager to give back, and while they accomplish wonderful things in the community, the needy within UWT are often overlooked.

Tiarra Banks, Family Programs Coordinator for SAB, in partnership with John Heller of ASUWT, and with the advice of members from Volunteer Services, wanted to change this, and the goal to bring Glee to UWT was born.

Faculty, staff, and student organizations “adopted” families, prepared gifts, and in some cases even meals and decorations that will allow struggling families to enjoy a Christmas they may otherwise not have experienced.

Banks and Heller worked throughout the past month to attach families in need with those who are willing to contribute. Currently the program has four donors and six families; originally, the organizers worried that the program would grow too big for them to handle, so they tried to keep it low-key. However, the deadline for applying has extended, and as long as the ratio of donors to families stays relatively constant Banks says they are willing to expand.

Since purchasing gifts for an entire family, along with the usual Christmas shopping students must do every year, can be expensive, SAB has implemented another part of the program that will allow students to donate to just children. Throughout the next few weeks snowmen will be put up around campus with the age and gender of a child in need. Students can purchase them gifts and get them into the SAB office in MAT 103 until December 14. This way, more people can contribute.

Banks says that families that qualify are not just those with children, but “anyone you consider to be family,” Also saying that they currently have applicant families of all shapes and sizes. It could be a grandma and grandkids, or even a girlfriend and boyfriend.

“The goal is to help students with families achieve college success,” says Banks. Her role in SAB is to make sure that the student, and whoever is helping them along the road to higher education is recognized and supported.

Though Bringing Glee to UWT is in its first year, it has been successful thus far, and SAB hopes to do it again in the future.