Adopt-a-Family Program Eases Financial Strain for Students

Adopt-a-Family Program Eases Financial Strain for Students

Huge increase in food donations for 2022

| By: Britten, Casey

The gifts have been purchased and wrapped. The food has been donated and divvied up. Everything has been delivered, and once again, the holidays will be a little brighter for the families of 19 students thanks to the FVTC Adopt-a-Family (AAF) program.

This year’s program is benefitting a total of 71 people among those 19 FVTC students. These are students with limited resources who are not receiving any other additional support outside of this program. The program helps break down barriers for referred students to offset basic needs. Donations include food, personal care items, cold weather gear and holiday gifts. “We help the students focus on their education by giving them one less thing to worry about,” says Natalie Gill, FVTC student finance analyst and AAF committee co-chair. 

But what made the 2022 campaign one for the record books was a simple staff challenge. On Dec. 1, Automotive Instructor Ken Kempfer sent an email to FVTC staff, challenging them to donate $50 to match his own $50 donation toward food. The challenge was readily accepted. Within five days, more than $2,200 was raised as a result. “Ken’s challenge completely snowballed,” says Lisa Schmid, FVTC director of enrollment and committee co-chair. “It was so amazing and heartwarming to see!”

“I’ve been with the college for a long time and have seen the need first-hand,” says Ken. “So when the call comes out from Adopt-a-Family during the holidays, we need to pay attention.”

The increase in monetary donations this year allowed committee members to buy much more food than a typical year. “When we delivered the items to our student’s family, he couldn’t believe the amount of food, gifts and other items we kept handing to him,” says committee member Stacey Baughman who works in the college’s Marketing department. “He thanked us several times and we could see the joy in his eyes. We left smiling because we know FVTC is helping this family have a wonderful Christmas!”

Natalie appreciates the camaraderie the program fosters. “This initiative not only focuses on our students, but brings together a community of student clubs and organizations, programs throughout the college and FVTC staff to support our students,” she says.

Lisa adds, “As an institution that values our students and creates a culture of caring and belonging, I’m so proud to be a part of FVTC’s Adopt-a-Family program.”

2022 Adopt-a-Family Stats:

  • 19 families, totaling 71 people
  • Trilogy Salon & Spa donated haircuts, facials and product discount coupons
  • Dental Clinic donated dental care items
  • FVTC Student Nurses’ Association and nursing faculty adopted four families
  • Auto Collision department collected food
  • Culinary Arts donated 70 dozen holiday cookies
  • 300+ personal care and household items donated
  • 127 cold weather items donated
  • $2,500+ collected in cash donations
  • Large food donation from Neenah/Hortonville/Menasha Boys Hockey booster club