Eagles Celebrate Holiday Season By Giving
WINTER HAVEN – The Polk State College men's basketball team isn't giving fouls or dunking gingerbread cookies in peppermint cocoa this holiday season.
However, they did give a huge assist to the Salvation Army and to Educator Preparation Institute Program Specialist Sherri Davis, in spreading joy to local needy children this December.
The 2012-2013 squad collected nearly $300 around the Winter Haven campus and purchased gifts for the Salvation Army of Winter Haven.
The team gave, but it received too.
"I just think it's very hopeful," said sophomore guard Ralph Simmons of collecting donations for the cause.
"Where I came from (South Carolina), a lot of us grew up with nothing – no parents, nobody to help out," he said. "This is a good experience for the guys on the team. You don't know what could happen. Some people end up with nothing sometimes. It's better to give back. I really enjoyed it."
Davis has been participating in the program for some 14 years, through various positions at Polk State.
Despite the downturn in the economy over the past few years, making it challenging to garner donations, she still gives the program her all by sending campus-wide emails and asking for donations through the campus news.
The efforts of Davis and her office colleagues has resulted in a closet full of gifts.
"We beg, we borrow," she said. "What a great community project for the ball team. It's a way to learn what giving is and a way to build humility. They did a fabulous job. It's great to see they got that spirit. It might help them in their roles as they continue their path in college and become mentors."
All gifts are given to children in east Polk County.