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UC and Mountain Outreach shop for kids


Williamsburg, Ky. - On Friday, November 22nd, University of the Cumberlands (UC) Mountain Outreach (MO) program held their Annual Midnight Toy Shopping Spree at Wal-Mart in Williamsburg, Ky. The students and staff involved showed a lot of heart and care with their excitement to shop for the children to have a gift on Christmas.

Marc Hensley, the leader of Mountain Outreach, said that the goal of the midnight shopping spree was to find Christmas gifts for children between the ages of two and fourteen. The children will each receive two gifts at a later event called, Gift Day.

“We learned over the years that this is the only Christmas these kids will have,” Hensley said.

About 70 students from UC came to Wal-Mart at midnight to participate, including many members of the Archery and Golf teams. Wal-Mart manager, Stephen Centers, and some associates volunteered to assist the volunteer shoppers with pricing items and checkout.

This year, Mountain Outreach shopped for 380 children. Wal-Mart set up aisles of toys for the Christmas season, which made it easier for the shoppers to find items. Once all the toys were collected and bought, they were taken out to trailers for storage until Gift Day.

Hensley expresses gratitude and appreciation on behalf of Mountain Outreach for those that either helped shop or raise funds for the event. “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; 10 pre-professional programs; ten graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including two doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs. For more information visit

Article Provided by Amanda Kelly, UC Multimedia and Athletic Services Student Assistant