Tusculum students, employees and alumni buy gifts for 37 children in need as part of Angel Tree program

GREENEVILLETusculum University family members are bringing Christmas cheer to Greene County children again this year by providing gifts for those who otherwise might not experience the joy of the season.

Gifts obtained by Tusculum University faculty, staff, students and alumni took up a good amount of space in the Admission Department.

Students, faculty, staff and alumni at Tennessee’s first higher education institution showed their support by adopting 37 children in the Angel Tree program of Greeneville-Greene County Community Ministries. They secured gifts from local stores and brought the haul to Virginia Hall, where the items occupied a considerable portion of the Admission Department lobby.

This is a tradition at Tusculum, and Zoeé Turner-Leonard, a senior who is scheduled to graduate in December with bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in pre-law, was pleased to keep it going. The commuter student from Jefferson City served as project leader, and she was pleased with the results of this year’s effort, especially considering the challenges presented by the global coronavirus pandemic.

“I wanted these children to have a good Christmas because I have been in their position before with only so much money available,” Turner-Leonard said. “It is disheartening to know these gifts might be the only items these children are able to receive for Christmas, but I am grateful so many of us at Tusculum we were able to help them. I was honored to be a leader of this project.”

Individuals and groups that participated in the Angel Tree were provided with information about the child’s clothing sizes and interests.

Dr. Troy Goodale, a political science professor who helped oversee the initiative, said participation by Tusculum family members represented another way to fulfill the university’s mission to demonstrate a caring Christian environment that inspires civic engagement.

“We are thankful to be part of the Greene County community and welcome the opportunity to support people in need,” Dr. Goodale said. “Christmas is an important time of year for children, and it warms our hearts to be able to make a difference in their lives.”

For more information about Greeneville-Greene County Community Ministries, please call 423-638-1667 or visit its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/GGCCMinistries.