FAIRMONT, W.Va. (WBOY) — In the spirit of Christmas, Fairmont State University students made sure everyone had something under the tree this year.
As part of the university’s “Christmas with a Falcon” event, teachers from every elementary and middle school in Marion County picked students who could benefit from more help around Christmas time. Then, the Fairmont State students made their Christmas list wishes happen.
The students in the Student Government Association spent hours shopping for the toys, wrapping each one, loading them into trash bags and hand delivering them to the schools.
“We have many students with many needs, and this helps a few of them get Christmas gifts that they truly need and deserve,” Debbie Conover, principal at East Fairmont Middle School said.
Some of the kids don’t ask for toys and games, many just need hygiene products or winter clothes.
“I can’t tell you how many of us were just standing in tears in Walmart because you’re expecting to go buy Barbies and instead, they need shampoo and so that’s really tough you get to see life through a different perspective than most of us experience,” Zachary Taylor, Fairmont State student and SGA president said.
In the end, everything the families get brings a little joy and ease to their lives around the holidays.
“When the families come in and pick them up, they’re very emotional. They’re very happy. They’re pleased and they’re very thankful,” Conover said.
This year a total of 122 kids and their families will open gifts from the university students around Christmas time.
“I was really worried we might not be able to get every kid, but we did, and everything worked out,” Taylor said.
Taylor was one of the original creators of the Christmas with a Falcon event. After his graduation and departure from the university, he hopes Fairmont State will continue the event and even expand it.
“I would like to see more schools. I would like to see more people participate, more maybe community based,” he said. “More people, maybe here at the university. I’d like to see this be a much larger thing than even I envisioned.”