Essential gifters wrap up SFAE


All throughout Etowah High School the packages are packed, the stockings are stuffed, and the boxes are boxed. Shop FOR an Eagle (SFAE) is here and mentors are shopping for Junior Eagles, instead of alongside them this year, due to CCSD COVID-19 regulations.

“I am excited for Shop For an Eagle because even though we are doing things a little differently this year, I still get to make an impact in a child’s life and hopefully give them a very happy Christmas,” Emily Collins, junior, said.

This year, Etowah is sponsoring a total of 70 Junior Eagles from 45 different families. The 150 mentors who applied will select a toy for their mentee, while parents or teachers who volunteer are shopping for necessities such as shoes and socks.

“It makes my heart so happy shopping for these kids,” Haley O’Brien, SFAE volunteer, said.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, selling t-shirts was less successful this year and mentors were not required to sell them. Typically, this is SFAE’s main fundraiser to raise the $10,000 necessary for purchasing essentials for the children. As a result of fewer shirt sales, money was donated by Towne Lake businesses and Etowah students.

“I did yard work for my grandma to help raise money,” Carter Schug, freshman, said

Another difference this year is a change in shopping locations. Teachers and/or students are able to go to Walmart instead of Target due to it being easier to purchase the items. This increases the selection of clothing and toys for the children. Once all the shopping is done, mentors and sponsors will get together to wrap the gifts and package up the items they purchased. 

“With this being my final year on campus, I am going all in for SFAE. I will be purchasing a gift for a Junior Eagle and participating in decorating the school and wrapping the gifts on the SFAE day,” Sarah Oburu, senior, said.

Many clubs such as National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, Beta Club, and Newspaper Club are taking donations to sponsor a kid. Clubs will be collecting money, gift bags, breakfast items, books, and school supplies.

“This year, NHS has focused on collecting non-perishable breakfast items for SFAE. We wanted to do what we could to provide food for the families in need in our community. The focus of NHS is to provide and give back, and we hope that the donations collected provide some relief to those in need, especially during this difficult time,” Margo Kemmerer, NHS sponsor, said.

The event this year is mainly virtual, so mentors should pay close attention to their emails. If anyone is interested in donating money, visit the school website. The sponsors are Ms. Szpindor, Ms. Osborne, Ms. Henderson and Mr. Pinckard, so contact them if there are any questions or concerns. 

“I look forward to helping as many families in need as we can during a really unique time where many are struggling to make ends meet,” Kristy Szpindor, SFAE sponsor, said.

The event will wrap up on Dec. 5 when families pick up bags full of presents for the kids and their families.