‘ASUletide’ Giving Makes Kids’ Christmas Wishes Come True
By Hazel Scott/ASU
The spirit of giving and a generous, caring community are at the heart of the Alabama State University family. Students, faculty, retirees and alumni have a long history of contributing their time and treasure, and spreading cheer to others during the holidays.
In that spirit, on Tuesday, Dec. 14, ASU continued a cherished 11 year-old Christmas tradition of providing toys and clothing to children of deserving families who need holiday assistance. This year, ASU adopted the families through the Hands-on River Region’s Christmas Clearinghouse.
“Acts of kindness are intrinsic to our University and those who carry on the longstanding tradition of giving, both during the holiday season and year-round,” said Kenneth Waters, ASU’s CommUniversity Coordinator in the Division of Marketing and Strategic Communications. “ASU is happy that we were able to make the holiday wishes of 78 kids who are part of 16 families from the River Region come true.”
Faculty and staff greeted their adopted families as they handed our presents under a decorated setting in front of the John Garrick Hardy Student Center.
Mr. Lawson, a widower who’s now raising his children as a single parent, said he wasn’t sure if he would be able to provide Christmas presents for his younger children ranging in age from 4 to 15 years old. for his five kids, so he turned to Hands-on for assistance.
“I’m very happy. Very grateful. This means a lot. They (his kids) have experienced some bad days and ASU’s generosity will make them happy and put some joy into their hearts. Thank you so much, ASU! They will wake up to a Merry Christmas, and a blessed one,” Lawson said.
Lawson has deep ties to the institution because some of his family members are Hornets and because of a former Montgomery Public School educator that he calls his mentor – President Quinton T. Ross, Jr.
“Dr. Ross was my old teacher when I was at McIntyre Junior High School. I could count on him for sound advice. He was my favorite teacher. Dr. Ross is real good people,” he said.
In about 20 years, Lawson said he plans to send his youngest child to ASU. “I hope Dr. Ross is still around to help him along,” Lawson said.
Holiday recipient Ms. Williams, who is a mother of six, had four children who were eligible for the Hands-on program. She said without ASU’s generosity, Christmas would have been bleak for her family.
“Our Christmas went from not knowing if they'd have anything to open to them having a very nice Christmas. This is a big deal for my kids," Williams said.
Dr. Ross said the ASUletide is about giving back by spreading holiday cheer to kids who might not otherwise experience the joy of Christmas.
“This is the time of year to remember others. Alabama State University for years has provided for those in need in the community. We are so happy that we can continue to have ASUletide giving with the faculty, staff and all of our administrators participating to ensure we make Christmas a very special Christmas for many families within our community. We are blessed here at Alabama State University to be a blessing to others,” Ross said.