CFCC’s Holiday Helpers program brightens the season for students in need

For the past five years, the Cape Fear Community College Foundation’s “Holiday Helpers” program has brightened the holiday season for students and their families in need.

In just a few years, the program has expanded dramatically with the assistance of CFCC Foundation Board members, staff and faculty, and a host of dedicated community volunteers and donors.

The program now assists over 100 students each year and distributes approximately $10,000 in “holiday help” to their children and families -  providing gifts, food, clothing, everyday supplies, and even support for tuition and books.

“CFCC students work so hard to get an education that will enable them to better provide for their families,” said Betsy Leonard, who started the program through the CFCC Foundation.

“Many of them work during the day or evening, and the financial burden that holidays place on them is significant,” Leonard explained.

Pam Maloney, who graduated from CFCC in 2007, was a recipient of the program while she was a student at the college. As a student, she had two small children and was struggling financially.

“The Holiday Helpers program was an answer to my prayers when I had no idea how my young children were going to have anything for Christmas,” Maloney said.

“My little girls were so surprised to find that ‘Santa’ had come to our house and left all those presents under our tree.”

That was five years ago.  Since then, Maloney transferred to UNCW, where she just graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the Cameron School of Business.

Maloney is still grateful for the help her family received while at CFCC so this year, she decided to return the favor and get involved as a sponsor.

“I felt like I needed to sponsor someone who needed it like I needed it a few years ago,” Maloney said.

As it turned out, there was another young mother who was attending CFCC with two young daughters who applied to the program.

“There is a special care and concern for others when you have been in their situation and really know what they are going through,” Maloney said.

The Cape Fear Community College Foundation exists solely to support the students, teachers, programs and mission of the College. The Foundation secures and manages gifts, including cash contributions, deferred gifts, securities, donated services, and equipment and supplies for educational purposes.