More than a dozen Mid-Missouri families will have a better holiday season thanks to the efforts of College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ students. In what has become a holiday tradition, the students donate their time and money to bring a holiday meal and presents to local low-income families.
The Adopt-a-Family Program is organized by the CAFNR Student Council. This year, student organizations ranging from Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow to the Collegiate Cattle Women each adopt a Columbia family. Each family gets a holiday meal gift card and every family member receives an individually wrapped present.
The students work with the Columbia Voluntary Action Center who selects the families, said Cheryl Ficken, CAFNR student council member and a senior 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.”
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 organizations participating in this year’s program were:
- Block and Bridle
- Agricultural Economics Club
- Agricultural Education Society
- Alpha Gamma Sigma
- Alpha Gamma Rho
- Entomological Society
- Independent Aggies (GDI)
- CAFNR Student Council
- Sigma Alpha
- Collegiate Cattle Women (CCW)
- Mizzou 4-H
- Agriculture Systems Management (ASM) Club and Alpha
- Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT)