Charleston Hope delivers more than 2,300 gifts to Lowcountry schools

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - More than 2,300 Lowcountry students are receiving Christmas gifts at school all thanks to the local non-profit organization, Charleston Hope.

It's spreading holiday cheer to Title 1 schools through its Adopt-A-Classroom program.

Every child from seven Charleston County schools will receive a new and wrapped gift.

Co-Founder Emily Hoisington said the mission started when she was a senior in high school, six years ago.

"My sister worked at one of these Title 1 schools, Charleston Progressive, and she was telling us about how some of her students not only didn't get Christmas presents but were lacking in a lot of basic needs that they needed to learn and to succeed," Hoisington said.

That's why she created Charleston Hope while she was a student at the College of Charleston.

"I think the kids get more excited each year and I think that's because they know we're coming back, this is not a one time thing," Hoisington said.

Teacher at Mitchell Elementary, Cassie Connor says it's the best day of the year.

"We are so appreciative to see the college kids because it's so many of the College of Charleston students who come together and do something so generous and so positive for our kids," Connor said. "It's absolutely the most heartwarming thing you could see."

The Charleston Hope team is made of mostly college students and recent grads. Volunteers from the community are also involved.

For Hoisington it's more than about the gifts it's about doing things with a purpose, a lesson from her late boyfriend Chad Cooke. It's now coined the Chad Effect.

"My boyfriend at the College of Charleston he passed away two years ago right after our Adopt-a-Classroom, he was a huge supporter of Charleston Hope," Hoisington said. "So Charleston Hope built that foundation of the Chad Effect, being intentional making sure we're knowing students names, getting into the schools year-round, not just once a year."

She says one of the most important parts is spending time with the students. Now Charleston Hope has spread to different places. There's a branch at Clemson and in Ohio and Spartanburg.

"To be reminded of what simple joy looks like through kids it's a great thing," Hoisington said.

Charleston Hope also has a mentorship program at Mitchell Elementary School to get people involved in the classrooms.

The organization also plans monthly engagement events to connects parents with the school.

If you'd like information about Charleston Hope visit

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