Students Collecting Christmas Gifts for Teens, Families in Need

In an effort to help those in need this holiday season, Augustana students are collecting gifts for area teens and families through two important initiatives:

Teen Town

For the fifth year, Augustana students involved in Serving and Learning Together (SALT) are overseeing Teen Town, a Salvation Army program that provides gifts to teens between 13-18 years of age from low-income families. Teen Town allows parents to choose a gift for their teenagers; the Salvation Army also collects gifts for smaller children.

Last year, Teen Town provided Christmas gifts to more than 500 teens.

Augustana students are asking for gifts in the $20-$25 range.

Unwrapped gifts may be brought to the Campus Safety desk inside Morrison Commons by Friday, Dec. 16Monetary gifts for Teen Town can also be submitted online.

"Augustana University's student-led organization is honored with the opportunity to head the Teen Town program," said students McKenna Hotovy, Michal Barnes and Jordan Bormann, Teen Town co-chairs. "This is only possible with support from the community. We're thankful to all those who have helped in the past, and who will help again this year."

Hotovy said being involved serves as a reminder of what Christmas is all about. 

"I really wanted to get involved in something at Augustana that I could relate to and really make a difference not only on campus but off campus as well," Hotovy said. "Getting involved in Teen Town and helping organize it this year has reminded me about what Christmas is really about — giving back to others."

Christmas Giving Trees

For the 27th year, the Augustana campus will be home to a number of Christmas Giving Trees, an effort also coordiated by Service and Learning Together (SALT).

Ornaments on the Giving Trees list gift or supply ideas for children of all ages and adults in the range of $5-$10. Gifts and supplies will be donated to Children's Home Society, Children's Inn, and the Heartland House. Items can be deposited beneath Giving Trees inside the academic buildings, residence halls and the Chapel of Reconciliation by Thursday, Dec. 8.

Learn more about volunteerism at Augustana.