We’ve all heard that it’s better to give than to receive. The Claflin University family has taken that saying to heart by collecting more than $1,600 in gift cards for the Salvation Army.
The cards were collected during “Christmas at Dunwalton” on Dec. 12. First Lady Alice Carson Tisdale said gift cards from stores such as CVS, Walgreens and Walmart have been collected during the University’s annual faculty and staff holiday gathering at the President’s house for the last decade, and are distributed each year to a different local charitable organization.
“We try to ask for cards to places that really matter, like grocery stores, pharmacies and for gas,” she said. “We knew the need at the Salvation Army was great, so we thought that would be a good cause for this year.
“Christmas is not just about toys. While it is a holiday for children, we need to also look at families. The cards may free up money to help a family pay for electricity or may help put groceries on the table.”
On hand at the gathering were Salvation Army Corps officers Lt. Wanda Long and her husband, Lt. Robert Long, who expressed their appreciation for the gift cards that will go to help families this Christmas.
Tisdale said Claflin stresses to its students the importance of giving back to the community not only at the holidays.
“We don’t want it to end at Christmastime,” she said. “We want to do what we can in the community all year.”
Students give back throughout the year by working as mentors in local public schools, participating in community health awareness events and helping at organizations like the Salvation Army, Tisdale said.
“We are the community – Claflin is a part of the community,” she continued. “Students need to understand that they have to pay rent for living on this Earth, and that they are their brother’s keeper, so to speak. We just hope that this gift card donation to the Salvation Army goes a long way to help families during this holiday season.
“We have to pay it forward and pray it forward.”