Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

December 14, 2011

Troup’s Beaty plays Secret Santa

TROUP — Today, a group of students from Troup ISD campuses will be escorted into Superintendent Dr. Marvin Beaty's office, not knowing they will be the recipient of Christmas gifts.

“They have no idea why they're coming in, they are always stunned,” Beaty said.

The students are hand-selected by the faculty and staff serving in the district on the basis of need.

“We're talking about kids who don't have the basic necessities in life,” Beaty said. “When you see a child wearing flip-flops every day, even in the snow, you can know there's a need.”

High School Counselor Tracye Martin said she speaks with the faculty and staff to discover “which kids seem like they've had a rough year.”

She said in some cases, students will be stuck in a chronic situation where their families struggle year after year.

But there are also students who face particularly rough times, for one reason or another, and those are considered too.

Beaty said the students remain anonymous and are taken care of very quietly.

This is the seventh year of the Christmas present donation, funds for which are mostly provided by the Adult 2 Men's Sunday School Class of First Baptist Church in Troup.

“I'm lucky to have those guys as friends,” Beaty said.

A member of the class, who wished to remain anonymous, said he's been giving to the fund for the last three years.

“I think its a good ministry, it stays right here in Troup,” the donor said. “We know that it's going directly to the needy ones, it doesn't go through anyone else's hands and no one is taking their cut.”

Beaty said last year more than $1,000 was donated to the gift-giving project, and his secretary said she couldn't spend it all. He told her to find a way, since the money cannot be applied to any other purpose.

He also said the money usually stretches a long way due to the generosity and cooperation of businesses.

“Everybody wants to be a part of something cool,” he said.

Beaty said it helps the kids understand they are actually cared for and that it is not just lip service.

“They're so appreciative, and they go on to make something of themselves,” the donor from First Baptist said. “We like to be a little part of that. ”

Beaty said the activity is motivated through understanding that “we are all God's children.”

He said he has kids, and when someone does something for them, especially in a time of need, he is deeply appreciative. He said if he can be grateful, he knows God is too.

“If we do for his children, how much more will he do for us?” Beaty said.

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