Christmas got early this season for more than 700 children from the Clarke District School District.
On December 2, the pupils were paired with two UGA scholar tutors through the Store with a Bulldawg program that gives the young pupils a looking spree at a local Wal-Mart. Each kid was given $120, money increased by their tutors, to be allocated to needs and toys because of their vacation season.
In its seventh year, SWAB has seen exponential growth because of specific pupils like Executive Director Jillian Schmidt, a fourth-year finance major from Pittsburgh. Schmidt started volunteering with SWAB all through her freshman year and fell in deep love with philanthropy.
“I liked how SWAB was a tiny community, and there was lots of room for growth,” she said. This system was only available in 2009, with about 100 UGA pupils offering as mentors. This year, significantly more than 1,900 UGA pupils closed up.
Schmidt and her staff have been employed tirelessly to control function day. A shift system was applied to design the students’ arrival, looking and wrapping situations. This year, a fifth shift was included to allow for many mentors. “We didn’t need to show away any UGA pupils who wanted to help,” Schmidt said.
The pupils arrived at Wal-Mart as early as 6 a.m. for the initial looking shift. Despite having an early start, the children were brimming with excitement. “I kept up all night awaiting this!” claimed Quamari Franklin, a second-grader from Pursuit Street Elementary. His buys included shirts, caps, sunglasses and snacks. His favourite discovery of your day: a blue and white remote-controlled car. “Seeing his enjoyment is very good,” claimed one of his tutors, Shannon Hochschild, a journalism scholar from Dahlonega. “He saw the automobile and got excited, wondering if he could buy it.”
Hochschild and Lallie Maddox, an marketing and psychology major from Perry, have mentored together for three years. “It’s our Christmas tradition,” Maddox said.
SWAB partners with Scott Emard, a household proposal specialist with the school section, to identify participants.
“For quite a few families, vacation presents tend to be useful and match the needs of the little one, but not the needs,” he said. “SWAB and the remarkable UGA scholar volunteers, along with the school administrators, perform selflessly to make this amazing function day a reality.”
For four years, Schmidt has been driven by the direct impact this system has on the kiddies of Clarke County. She took an instant to think about her last function day, which she claimed was bittersweet. “This has been lots of performing on top of lessons, but this is such a unique company,” she said. “SWAB is an excellent means for UGA pupils like myself to begin seeing the community’s problems. It allows you to begin seeing the direct effect you have on these kiddies and our community.”