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MO Collects over 800 Toys for Children


Members of the Wal-Mart staff at the Williamsburg, Ky. store posed with the UC students and faculty who collected over 800 toys for children in the Whitley County area this Christmas season.

Williamsburg, Ky. – On Friday, December 2, University of the Cumberlands (UC) Mountain Outreach (MO) held their 6th annual Midnight Toy Shopping Spree at Wal-Mart in Williamsburg, Ky. The students and everyone involved were extraordinary examples of what it means to give during the holiday season.

“We needed 800 toys and got 805 gifts on Friday night,” exclaimed Marc Hensley, MO Director.

In all there were 48 students and 3 faculty members that came out to help shop for gifts’ for kids on Christmas morning. The toys collected started at the infant age all the way up to 14 years old. Although MO helps so many children, families, and people around the community, these events that they take part in provide a lot for those that participate as well.

“We forget sometimes that just a few years ago these students were children and then they come to college where they are expected to be mature; this gives them the opportunity for a break from class and fun themselves,” said Hensley.

The night was very special for all those involved including the UC Golf Team which decided to lend their services to the shopping spree. The golf team helped collect toys, bag them at the register, and load the gifts into a U-Haul truck to take to storage.

The local Wal-Mart also gave a helping hand, having prepared for the Shopping Spree. Wal-Mart placed sale items out along with items that were low on stock at reduced prices.

Hensley expresses gratitude and appreciation on behalf of Mountain Outreach for those that either helped shop or raise funds for the event. “Can you imagine 4 or 5 people trying to choose 800 gifts for children ages infant through 14? The event would not have been possible without those who reached out a helping hand to Mountain Outreach.”

Mountain Outreach has been nationally recognized for its work several times: the Action Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty selected it as one of ten charities to receive the Samaritan Award; USA Today noted the program in its 1996 “Make a Difference Day” competition; and President George H. Bush honored Mountain Outreach as his 220th Daily Point of Light.

Located in Williamsburg, KY, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; nine graduate degrees, including two doctorates, a specialist, and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.

Article provided by Tiera Ball, University of the Cumberlands Multimedia and Athletic Services Student Assistant