Edited by Jerri Whitner, Student Contributor
When students attend Alice Lloyd College they are given more than a purpose and education, they are given an extended family. The Alice Lloyd College and The June Buchanan School community came together the week of January 23rd to help one of their own, Emily Stewart, a Junior Sociology major from Letcher County. A week before Emily would start her spring classes, she received the blessed news that her father would have the liver transplant he’d been waiting seven years for. Vacationing out of state, Emily rushed home through the night to be by her father’s side as he endured the ten-hour transplant surgery.
After losing her mother to cancer in September of 2015, Emily and her father have forged an unbreakable bond and despite facing a long recovery, Emily’s father persuaded her to return to school and continue pursuing her academic dreams. In addition to her class work and work-study hours Emily works a part-time job off campus, but with her father’s prolonged illness and mounting medical expenses, the family faced financial strain to afford the required month-long stay in a medical home near the hospital.
Eager to help, Senior Admissions Counselor, Mary Turner, quickly offered to organize a bake sale fundraiser among a number of campus members and organizations. The bake sale ran from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., January 23rd-25th, in the Davis Student Center. In addition to countless volunteers donating baked items, many of The June Buchanan School parents and teachers bought enough baked goods for whole classrooms to enjoy. Local photographer, Kendra Knapp of Foxes and Fireflies photography, also held a gallery auction among the campus community, raising $230 for medical relief. Emily is grateful for the support of her ALC family, “You are all a blessing to me and my family, and I appreciate everything you have done!”
Mary Turner’s original goal for the bake sale fundraiser was to raise $150 to help Emily with her father’s medical expenses, but within the first day of the sale, the group’s proceeds far exceeded Mary’s hopes. Mary comments, “I am excited to see how God is providing for this family.” The group’s efforts raised $1,011, selling out of all their baked goods the final day, and helping Emily reach her goal. As the group of volunteers sees their goal abundantly fulfilled one volunteer jokingly remarked, “the kitchen is closed for the rest of the week!”
From the young students at The June Buchanan School to the young adults attending Alice Lloyd College, the family atmosphere offered on Caney Creek fosters an environment centered on service to others. The Purpose Road Philosophy’s main goal is to produce servant leaders that will effect change in their society. However, the students, faculty, and staff, know that sometimes the biggest changes happen in the simplest ways such a humble bake sale that has already touched the lives of Emily Stewart and her father.