A&T Grants Winter Wishes for Foster Children for Seventh Year

By Todd Simmons / 12/05/2023 Employees, Students

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Dec. 5, 2023) – Hundreds of holiday-festive Aggies gathered at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s Alumni-Foundation Event Center on Dec. 1 to deliver gifts for Guilford County children in foster care for a seventh consecutive year.

Through the annual gift drive, Winter Wishes in Aggieland, North Carolina A&T staff, faculty and students commit to fulfilling the holiday wishes of 200 children in foster care – more than a third of all children in foster care served by the Guilford County Department of Social Services.

Each child was able to put as many as three gifts on their holiday wish list, which A&T employees and students pledged to provide.

Aggies beaming with good cheer arrived at the center laden with toys, games, electronics, clothes, shoes, musical instruments, gift cards, sporting goods and bicycles. University volunteers organized the bounty of gifts to designate each item for each child and presented them to social services staff, who will distribute them to the children.

The N.C. A&T Fellowship Gospel Choir also graced the joyful event with an inspirational music performance en route to the Downtown Greensboro Festival of Lights later that evening at Center City Park.

Along with hot chocolate, apple cider and holiday treats, the event featured a DJ to play classic holiday hits, a 360 photo booth to capture the camaraderie and even impromptu line dancing to keep spirits bright.

“What started as a simple idea to celebrate the season and give back to children in need has become a staple of the A&T holiday season,” said Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. “It even continued at the height of COVID in 2020, with Aggies driving through to leave their gifts with helpers masked and gloved to receive them.

“Winter Wishes not only reminds us of our good fortune as members of the Aggie Family, it centers us on a familiar idea at our university, one best articulated by alumnus Mr. Willie A. Deese: ‘Look back, reach back, lift up, and always lean forward.’”

Martin was joined on stage by state Sen. Gladys Robinson, a two-time alumna of A&T, who praised the gift givers for the fine example they set for the community.

“Winter Wishes celebrates the best of what we can be: a public university and its community joining forces with a public agency in support of the most vulnerable in our community – and making a big difference,” she said. “It makes me so proud as an alumna of North Carolina A&T, and prouder still of the many individuals across campus who step up to make this special day possible and of the many others who come out to support and focus attention on this program.”

Media Contact Information: thsimmons@ncat.edu

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