by Adele Williams, Student Contributor
Alice Lloyd College students are taking time out of their work days this December to take part in the Christmas Pretties Program. The Christmas Pretties Program was started by Alice Lloyd’s mother, Ella Geddes, and has since become a tradition, carried on every December.
Mrs. Geddes discovered many families were too poor to celebrate Christmas, so she wrote to her friends in Boston. They, in return, sent gifts to the Community Center (the current college), and Mrs. Geddes began giving out bags of gifts to families or had the gifts delivered by horseback. The Christmas Pretties Program continues today under the leadership of Jackie Sparkman, Coordinator of Community Programs.
Students have been wrapping donated gifts, sorting them, and then sending them to participating churches, Head Start schools, and elementary schools in Knott, Floyd, and Letcher counties. Usually, about 4,000 presents are wrapped and sent in a year.
A letter is sent to schools that have previously participated, and in order for them to receive gifts for their students, they must send a letter back to ALC stating that they want to participate again. Every student from kindergarten through fourth grade will receive a gift.
Participating schools in Knott County include Beaver Elementary, Cordia Elementary, Carr Creek Elementary, Emma Lena Elementary, James Port Elementary, June Buchannan School, and Hindman Elementary. Participating schools in Floyd County include Betsy Lane Elementary, Prestonsburg Elementary, James A. Duff Elementary, May Valley Elementary, and Stumbo Elementary. Participating schools in Letcher County include Cowan Elementary.