College staffer shares gift of giving with Toys for Tots program
Elaine Faust has a talent for helping others, and it’s a penchant that serves her well in her role as special population coordinator for Athens Technical College. She’s been working for 16 years at the college in that job or a similar position offering services to students in need.
One of her favorite responsibilities of her work is coordinating the Toys for Tots gifting program for qualified college students. Community Connection, which serves as the local Toys for Tots screening and distribution agency, provides Faust a bounty of toys based on a wish list of students and their children that she sends the organization.
Each year, Faust circulates around the college campus an information flyer seeking students who could use help providing presents for their children. The program targets single parents or homemakers who have lost a job to business closings or layoffs. Potential participants much fill out an application form explaining their situations. This year, 24 Athens Technical College students will benefit from the program.
“Some students won’t be able to get anything for their children (without Toys for Tots),” Ms. Faust said. “Every parent wants to be able to give something to their kids.”
Tuesday morning, December 4, college student Rita Easley enjoyed picking out something for her 11 children. Without Faust’s help and the donations from Toys for Tots, the Easley children might have faced some disappointment on Christmas morning. Ms. Easley was most appreciative for the assistance, as all the beneficiaries of the program are, Ms. Faust said.
“They are all so thankful,” Ms. Faust said. “They didn’t know what they would do otherwise.”
Giving people support when they need it fits Ms. Faust’s personality well, she said.
“Everyone seems to have a gift,” she said. “This just seems to be mine.”
Photo caption: Elaine Faust, standing, helps Athens Technical College student Rita Easley, bag some presents from the Toys for Tots gift supply Tuesday, December 4 at the college.