Kiara Williams and Ashlyn Parker
This past week the LEAP Ambassadors were happy to help–and recruit more help–KSAM radio with their annual “Make A Smile Happen” holiday gift drive for the community.
This drive encourages the local community to provide food items, pet supplies, cash, or toys, and these, in turn, go to one of six non-profit agencies: Santa’s Helpers, Huntsville Independent School District, Good Shepherd Mission, SAAFE House, YMCA, and the Rita B. Huff Adoption Center. It is timed, of course, with the holidays, in the hopes of being able to provide gifts, food, pet food, or other necessities to those in need, and LEAP was happy to help.
Although the tasks associated with assisting are not difficult, they are time-consuming. The drive spans two days: 6 am-6 pm on Wed, Nov. 30th; and 6 am-3 pm, Thu, Dec. 1, and we try to have four volunteers on hand at any given time. Some of the mornings were cold…
…and we were trying to recruit volunteers during finals, but given the importance of this cause, we were able to find sufficient volunteers and have fun helping others.
Our tasks were manifold:
(1) hold signs marketing the event to the high-traffic area on 11th street;
(2) help donors load and unload donated items from their vehicles;
(3) organize and count the items;
…and (4) come up with creative marketing tools.
And, of course, other duties as assigned.
We were better at some tasks than others.
Along the way, the students had the wonderful opportunity to meet and learn from new people: Tim Johnson, the station’s General Manager;
…radio personalities such as Bryan Reader, Glenn Edwards, and Carlos Zimmerman; and several sponsors and other volunteers.
In all, KSAM did a great job getting the word out, and we were happy to help. Our final count is 429 toys, 1,517 cans of food, $6,979.84, and 865 pounds of pet food.
It was a fun and productive two days, and we would like to thank all the volunteers who came out to help and the sponsors who assisted with overhead. And, of course, major thanks to KSAM who orchestrates this event every year!