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Cape mentoring program gives gifts, necessities to families in need

Updated: Dec. 13, 2019 at 11:00 PM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - A mentoring program at Cape Central Middle School is stepping up to spread joy to local families in need.

The Tiger Lilies anonymously adopted 57 local families with the help of community supporters and Saint Francis Healthcare Systems.

Parents swung by the middle school cafeteria on Friday Dec. 13, which was packed full of wrapped presents.

“Everybody’s happy, laughing and having a good time,” said Alexis Shuffet who was picking up gifts for her family.

"It was like a warm feeling inside of me when I knew my brothers and sisters were going to get the gifts,” Suffet added. “They are going to open them on Christmas.”

Other essentials were available for the families includes clothes, shoes, non perishable food items, and cleaning supplies.

Kristin Bailey is a new foster parent for two students at the middle school and thinks fulling the wants and needs of kids is a great approach.

“They deserve it and being able to see them have that joy that some of these kids may not have had in a little while,” Bailey said. “When a child comes into foster care they can come with nothing. They appreciate just having a blanket or a tooth brush given to them, something that we all take for granted.”

The Tiger Lilies program builds the confidence of young girls who may struggle with school or their self-esteem, and some of participants also benefited from Friday’s event.

Tiffany Mead works part time as an assistant mentor for the Tiger Lilies thanks to a grant for the United Way of Southeast Missouri.

Mead said it’s exciting to see the community support the girls and in turn inspire them to give back.

“It’s the perfect opportunity for us to give into them and to their families. They feel that love. They feel that support, but they also want to give back as well,” Mead said. “It’s something that I think is going to stick with them. They just don’t care about me at school. They care about my family and my siblings. There have been some girls who have said they want to share with other people.”

The Tiger Lilies hope to bring back the event next year and help even more families.

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