HIGH POINT, N.C., Nov. 12, 2020 – High Point University’s Board of Stewards did not let a global pandemic stop them from raising funds for local organizations this holiday season. Today, the Board of Stewards presented the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program and the MLK Oratorical Scholarship of the High Point Minister’s Conference each with a $10,000 check.
“I’m incredibly proud of our organization because amidst COVID-19, we were still able to make sure both organizations were receiving something,” said Courtney Smith, philanthropy chair for HPU’s Board of Stewards. “Both organizations do an amazing job at giving so much back to the community. Their service is something that we are all so proud to be a part of.”
Each year, HPU’s Board of Stewards raises funds and organizes several shopping events to purchase toys, clothes and other necessities for local families. Due to the pandemic, students raised money through fall chapel offerings and other fundraising initiatives. This year’s Angel Tree program is helping about 500 children in the community who were directly impacted by the pandemic.
“This is really important to us because in previous years the board has been so generous in their philanthropy in the community as a whole,” said Antoine Dalton, director of social services at Salvation Army of High Point. “There had to be some adjustments this year as we adjust to the ‘new normal,’ but we are grateful that we’re still finding ways the university can assist us in this time of need.”
HPU’s Board of Stewards continued another tradition to raise funds to support the MLK Oratorical Scholarship offered by the Ministers Conference of High Point and Vicinity. Scholarships are awarded each year during the conference’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast and Oratorical Competition to deserving high school seniors from the High Point community who demonstrate excellent moral, academic and civic leadership skills in the true spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“HPU students are active and supportive in the High Point community,” said Rev. Dr. Frank Thomas, chair of the MLK Steering Committee for High Point Ministers Conference. “I’m excited about the continuation of the town and gown relationship. This is one other aspect of ‘gown’ reaching out and touching the ‘town.’”
Members of HPU’s Board of Stewards also presented each organization with service chords that are traditionally given to graduating seniors who showed dedication to service in the community.
“Since the summer, I have walked alongside the Board of Stewards as their vision expanded to be more critically engaged, self aware, and inclusive with how they steward the weekly offering,” said Rev. Andria Williamson, manager of chapel programs at HPU. “This expansion came with tough and long conversations about how to do philanthropy in more responsible and Christ-like ways. Seeing them encourage and lean on one another while keeping the faith of their vision and goal inspires and makes me proud, especially as it has resulted in the fruit of this new partnership with the Ministers Conference. My prayer is that God would continue to bless this partnership and the High Point community in ways that bring healing and justice, especially to those facing the brunt of ongoing disparities and inequality.”