The Adopt-a-Family Program is organized by the college Student Council.
This year, 13 student organizations adopted a dozen low-income Columbia families. Each family gets a gift card for a holiday meal and every family member receives an individually wrapped present.
The organizations work with the Columbia Voluntary Action Center who selects the families, said Cheryl Ficken, CAFNR student council treasurer and a junior in agricultural education.
Generally, the center selects single parent households with minor children. The center works with the families to identify their most pressing needs, usually staples such as pots and pans and warm clothes.
The CAFNR students purchase the gifts and then wrap them. A personalized holiday card is included. The Voluntary Action Center delivers the presents to the families who are anonymous to the students.
“Each organization spends about $250 on their family,” Ficken said. “Many organizations fund this program directly out of their own pockets or through association income. This has been a tradition at CAFNR for as long as I can remember.”
“Our CAFNR students and clubs are amazing”
“Our CAFNR students and clubs are amazing,” said Darcy Wells, executive director of advancement at CAFNR. “I put out a request for help with purchasing turkeys for the Columbia Salvation Army’s Thanksgiving Dinner and the Student Council came through with support for this agency as well.”
The Voluntary Action Center is a nonprofit social service agency funded by Columbia Area United Way, the City of Columbia, Boone County, the Interfaith Council of Churches FISH Fund, FEMA, Boone Electric Trust, Veterans groups and business and individual donations.
Its programs are designed to address unmet needs in the community, giving low-income people the opportunity to gain independence, overcome crisis, meet their basic needs and improve their quality of life.
CAFNR Student Organizations
CAFNR organizations participating in this year’s program were:
- Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow
- Ag Econ Club
- Agriculture Systems Management (ASM) Club
- Alpha Gamma Rho
- Alpha Gamma Sigma
- CAFNR Ambassadors
- Collegiate Cattle Women
- Horticulture Club
- Independent Aggies (GDI)
- Mizzou FFA
- Sigma Alpha
- Student Development Board
- Agricultural Education Society