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Local team raises money for local impoverished children

Strawberry Sweethearts trays were on sale from Feb. 7-13, benefiting the impoverished children and families of Valdosta, Ga.

The team, affiliated with Azalea City Church of God, conducts Outreach Programs every week, raising money and giving aid to those in need around the community.

The Emerge Demo Team sold strawberry Sweet Hearts Trays all week for $20.

“So far we have raised $1500,” said Jennifer Drawdy, middle grades education major and member of the Emerge Demo Team.

“It contains 10 large strawberries. Half are covered in chocolate, half are covered in white chocolate and nuts, and the middle is filled with chocolate heart candies.”

The donations go to the homeless families of Valdosta, the pet shelter and the childrens’ home.

The Emerge Team does a lot for the community of Valdosta, including the university community.

Started five years ago by the members of the Azalea City Church of God, the Outreach program began as just handing out water to the football players but then grew into the progressive volunteer service that it is today.

“We bag groceries, hand out dinners to the homeless of Valdosta and minister at nursing homes,” Drawdy said.

Every Sunday morning at 7 a.m., a free breakfast is served.

The Outreach Program also sponsors “Adopt a College Student,” where a family of the church help a student here at VSU with the expenses incurred as a college student.

“The families help with buying books for classes, bill payments and even groceries,” Drawdy said.

In the last two weeks the amount of college students benefiting from the program doubled.

“About 120 college students have been helped within the last week,” Drawdy said. “It’s been doubling like crazy.”

The Emerge team hosts a “Dating Series” at the church every Wednesday in which there are discussions concerning dating and the college experience.

“Anyone is welcome to join the Emerge Team and help serve the community! We could always use more people!” Drawdy said.

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