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The Blue & Gray Press | October 18, 2017

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COAR prepares presents for children in need

COAR prepares presents for children in need

By NOELLE CARLSON

Community Outreach and Resources’ annual Head Start Gift Box Drive will be held in the Dome Room at Seacobeck Dining Hall on Friday, Nov. 14. Every year COAR teams up with the Head Start program to help the youth of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania.

Head Start works with the improvement and support of the development and school readiness of children from low-income families from birth to age 5, as well as encouraging the roles parents have as their children’s teachers to improve the parent-child relationships

From 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, people can come and volunteer and wrap boxes for the drive. This event is one out of the three main events that COAR hosts each semester.

COAR asks students, faculty and locals to fill gift boxes that will be sent out to a total of 314 girls and boys from both the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania area.

Along with Christmas music the event also provides hot chocolate for its volunteers to get people into the holiday spirit. There tends to be a large turnout for this event because it’s such a fun and easy way to give back to the community.

All people are welcome to gift-wrap but the filling of the boxes is what is important. One concern is that not enough people will want to fill a box because of the cost.

“There have been a lot of wrapping volunteers, but each year we manage filling up all the boxes”, sophomore political science major Ola Szczesna said.

Each box will contain essentials, including scarves, gloves, toys, and school supplies. Sometimes the drive will seek for donations from places such as local dentist offices.

If people are not willing to fill an entire box with the listed items but still wish to donate individual items they can do so and drop them off at the COAR office in the basement of Seacobeck Hall.

Along with the gift box wrapping, COAR has teamed up with the Dorsey Scholars on campus. They will set up a table in which people can come and help make fleece blankets for donation. Along with the blankets they make, they also contribute to the Gift Box Drive by making some of the scarves that will go into the wrapped boxes.

“The whole organization is made up of UMW students who enjoy volunteering not out of obligation but the sheer want to help others”, sophomore environmental geology major Lauren Mosseso said.

COAR is an umbrella organization with many programs with a wide range of interests. This Gift Box Drive is just one of the many ways the organization gives back to the community.