Texas A&M University-Texarkana faculty and staff are community minded and the holidays are no exception. After a robust campaign to collect items for victims of Hurricane Harvey, the university students, faculty and staff came together again to help during the busy holiday season.

According to a press release, some of the programs that benefited from these efforts are Toys for Tots, Operation Christmas Child, Boys & Girls Club, the Terrell Christmas Project, Shop with a Cop, and our own Eagle Wonderland, just to name a few.

Charlotte Van Note, a member of the Psychology Club, said of their project “We held a clothing drive for all of Terrell State Psychiatric Hospital's patients. We also held several shaved ice and hot cocoa fundraisers to raise money for a pizza party and Christmas gifts for the children who are spending the Christmas holiday there. Several TAMUT students and staff also donated gifts for the children.” She added “On December 18th we delivered the clothing and pizzas, and gave all 36 children a gift bag of assorted items. We even took our own Santa for the party. After all, a kid's Christmas isn't complete without Santa!”

Grey Powell, the president of TAMUT’s Spectrum club helped to organize a Toy Drive with Twin City Church Of Christ, Equality Texarkana and YESS Equality. He said “We [Spectrum members] had a lot of fun going out into the community raising awareness. We hung up signs around Texarkana and the surrounding areas, and also went door to door. We had a great turn out and willingness to help. We put collection boxes around town, and got a wonderful response.”

Texas A&M Texarkana
Texas A&M Texarkana

Shop with a Cop, a program that helps local boys and girls get their Christmas wishes thanks to officers of the Texarkana Texas and Texarkana Arkansas Police Departments, was held on December 5 at Target.  “The experience was exhilarating…to see the smiles of the young children’s faces…to receive a gift…it was amazing,” said Eric McMillian, an office with the University Police Department.

The Phi Lambda Chi fraternity on campus helped with several efforts this season as well, including Operation Christmas Child. “Brothers of the fraternity helped box up prepared packages for children in need across the world,” said Monte Scott. He also went on to say “the fraternity spent Tuesdays and Thursdays providing tutoring and mentorship for children of economically suppressed families with the Boys & Girls Club.”

Texas A&M-Texarkana President Dr. Emily Cutrer said “Community leadership and engagement are strategic goals of our university.  The students, faculty, and staff are always willing to support the efforts of the local community and pitch in where needed. From our efforts including Eagle Wonderland, the Bringle Lake Trail, and our Big Event, this campus is one that is laser-focused on community service.”

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