Each year, with the help of Manhattan organizations and residents, Adopt A Family works to provide Christmas gifts for families who could not afford to do so otherwise.
Organized by Junior League of the Flint Hills, Adopt A Family provided presents for over 700 children last year, from infancy up to 18 years of age if they were still in high school, as a small incentive for children to stay educated. For a family to qualify for Adopt A Family, they must reside in Manhattan or Ogden, and earn restricted income with proper documentation.
K-State Athletics have been involved with Adopt A Family for a few years now.
“We serve about four families every year with about three to four kids and two parents,” Gianna Misenhelter, junior in mass communications and women’s golf team member, said. “We ask that every student athlete give a minimum donation of $5 and coaches to donate what they can as well.”
With the money they raise split evenly between the families, K-State Athletics then goes shopping to fill the families’ wish lists and deliver the wrapped presents to the their houses before Christmas break.
Jose Delatorreleal, sophomore in information systems, first got involved with the program last month when he heard there was a need for interpreters during application processes. As an interpreter, Delatorreleal translates the application form and rules for applying from English to Spanish and volunteers to help families who only speak Spanish during the application processes.
“The program has made me aware of the great need of the Latino community,” Delatorreleal said. “I feel as if, because of the language barrier, they could not benefit from the great opportunities this country has to offer. It has also made me aware of how strong the Latino community is; that even when many of them don’t speak English, they still manage to find and keep jobs. Those low paying jobs the majority of people don’t want but after all, they’re able to survive.”
K-State’s GoTeacher program is also getting involved with Adopt A Family as translators and interpreters.
The students from Ecuador involved in the GoTeacher program are here for seven months, taking courses to improve their English skills and teaching methods. Once completing the program, the students then return to Ecuador where they teach English as a second language.
“It is all an interconnected web that allowed our students to participate in Adopt a Family,” said Effie Swanson, program manager for continuing education at K-State. “I will say that the first student who volunteered today sent me a very excited email, telling me how much she enjoyed the experience. I hope that we can build a tradition of partnering between GoTeacher and Adopt a Family in the future.”