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Today@Sam Article

College Plays Santa For Needy Families

Dec. 21, 2011
SHSU Media Contact: Beth Kuhles

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For the second year in a row, the College of Criminal Justice has helped make Christmas extra special for deserving families in Huntsville.

As part of an initiative begun by former Provost David Payne in 2010, the college adopted two families this year for the holidays in lieu of buying presents for colleagues. A total of 45 faculty and staff members fulfilled the wish list of five people through SAAFE House, a domestic violence shelter for the surrounding four-county area.

“We were able to fulfill the Christmas wish list for two families and five people in total,” said Amanda Burris, who organized the Criminal Justice Christmas Project. “We adopted a mom and her 10-year-old son and a mom with two daughters, ages 3 and 5.”

This year, the college helped fulfill Santa’s list for the children, which included clothing, toys, games, dolls, a play kitchen and accessories, puzzles and movies as well as clothing, jewelry, movies and books for the mothers.

Faculty and staff also provided supplies for daily living, such as toiletries, household cleaners, paper goods, and non-perishable foods, as well as gift cards to a local grocer and retailer for holiday meals.

Last year, the college was able to make Christmas extra special for one local family.
The SAAFE House currently has two shelters and four outreach locations in Walker, Polk, San Jacinto and Trinity counties.

The offices are open five days a week and provide a full range of services, including crisis intervention; information and referral; emergency housing; basic living essentials; individual and group counseling; personal accompaniment for legal, medical and law enforcement appointments; transportation; skills assistance; emotional support services; and intervention programs for abusive individuals.


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