Wildcats Adopt a Family for Holidays

"It means a lot. You get so caught up in school and sports that it's nice to see some good done in the community," said men's basketball junior and president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Brian Rohleder, "especially when you get to give somebody those gifts that they wouldn't regularly have during the holiday season. That's what it's really all about, and that's what makes K-State so special, it's about the community here."
The Junior League of the Flint Hills picked out two families for the student-athletes to adopt, and each athletic team was given the opportunity to choose a family member to shop for from one of those two families.
On the evening of the annual student-athlete "wrap party," the tables set up on the Bramlage Coliseum concourse were filled with presents. From dolls to pajamas, diapers, Legos and candy, each team picked out exactly what it hoped were the perfect presents for its family member.
The 53 Wildcats in attendance shared Christmas cookies (most, of which, were cooked by women's basketball sophomore Kelly Thomson, I was told) and spent the evening bonding as they tied ribbons and bows to the carefully wrapped gifts. 
"It warms my heart," said K-State director of life skills Cori Pinkett. "We have more student-athletes participate in the wrap party this year than we did last year, and it's nice to see so many complete teams come out and support. Not only did they give the money, but they also came out and wrapped the gifts and got into that holiday spirit together right before the holiday season. We have a real good, fun time getting together and being able to do something nice for people who, otherwise, wouldn't have gifts for the holidays."
Though Pinkett had a hand in organizing the wrapping event, the money donations to buy the gifts and the shopping are done solely by the student-athletes. Then, next week, the Wildcats will pack up all the presents and be hand-delivering them to their families.
"This is my third year doing Adopt-A-Family, and it's gotten bigger as the teams have gotten to know about it a little bit more, so it's been cool to watch it grow," explained rowing senior Megan Murray. "It is really cool, especially because we get to go and deliver the gifts to the families. We get to see the family and the children's smiling faces. Everyone is so excited. It's cool because we get to see some of our service actually take effect into the community." 

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