Atlanta Public Schools Communications and Public Engagement Officer Erica Fatima assists a client with the registration process at Santa’s Village.
During this season of sharing and giving, many Atlanta Public Schools employees and JROTC students assisted The Empty Stocking Fund by providing donations and volunteering at its annual Santa’s Village.
Nearly 90 APS employees and more than 100 JROTC cadets spent several hours volunteering on Dec. 9. Prior to the volunteer event, employees were able to sponsor a child or donate to the program. In one day, APS volunteers helped give out nearly 12,000 toys, books and socks to needy children and families throughout the metro Atlanta area.
Through relationships with community partners and wholesale distributors, The Empty Stocking Fund purchases brand new items to offer a variety of choices for children from birth to 12 years of age. Over a three week period, families who meet the qualifications are invited to visit Santa’s Village to select gifts and other items for their children.
APS representatives worked in all aspects of the Santa’s Village distribution process, such as leading client registration and check-in, helping clients pick out toys and completing client gift packages.
“For our cadets, this gave them an opportunity to participate in a large-scale community service project and advances our goal of molding our cadets into young adults of high character, who feel a sense of civic responsibility in their communities.” said Colonel Robert W. Rooker, APS JROTC director and coordinator of APS Day at Santa’s Village. “Additionally for APS employees, it provided us with an opportunity to give back to the community we serve. Personally, it’s my favorite day of the year.”