Adopting to new changes

Lydia McNanney ‘23, Copy editor

December is a time for charitable acts all throughout the community, and South’s annual Adopt a FamilySouth program is benefiting local families for the 7th year despite the new challenges presented in the virtual environment.

Adopt a Family is a district-wide event that, in years past, collected gifts for children of families going through difficult times. Considering the Covid risks posed by collecting physical gifts, this year monetary donations will be collected virtually according to Student Association vice president Audrey Becker ‘21.

“Covid precautions wouldn’t allow touching gifts, baking cookies, or anything in person,” Becker said. “Instead we just want to make an impact by raising money and doing all that we can to promote it.”

According to Student Association advisor, Michael Rennell, all the donations collected will be split among families.

“Our goal is just to raise as much money as possible for our families,” Rennell said. “We’d like to get a minimum of a couple hundred bucks for every family, but, for different size families we have different goals depending on the number of kids in that family.”

According to project co-chair Peyton Lancaster ‘21, the Adopt a Family program is highly rewarding as it gives families the opportunity to give their children a memorable holiday when they otherwise couldn’t.

“I think it benefits the community by helping bring us together, and by making sure everybody has a happy holiday,” Lancaster said. “ It keeps up the holiday spirit for families who may need a little assistance during these times.”

It’s a fact that many families are struggling this year with the stress presented both mentally and financially, and according to Lancaster, there are ways to help out other than directly donating.

“I think just sharing the word and spreading the word to other people could be very helpful,” Lancaster said. “Getting more awareness of [Adopt a Family] so then maybe other people could help us if they have some money, and they are willing to donate to the cause.”

The Student Association is encouraging students to promote the program on social media to raise awareness. According to Becker, Adopt a Family has been gaining attention through interactive trends on Instagram.

“There’s been like a trend on Instagram where you post a bingo sheet on an Instagram story and then you have like a $1 donation set up and then people donate through Venmo to that,” Becker said. “The Instagram bingo sheet is kind of a fun way to incorporate raising the donations into your personal life if you can’t donate directly.”

Adopt a family has been one of South’s most important traditions for a while, and according to Lancaster, this year will be especially important to the many families facing difficult times as a result of the pandemic.

“I think this year with everything going on with the pandemic, Adopt a Family will be even more valuable for families who have lost income with job losses and unemployment settings,” Lancaster said. “Now is a super important time to give back to those people and help them have as great of a holiday as they can for their families.”