By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun
On Tuesday, the mothers of Texas A&M students from Navarro County loaded up 25 enormous Christmas stockings with plenty of gifts and treats and drove to College Station to be among the Aggie Moms giving out gifts in the week leading up to final exams.
The bags contains gift cards to Subway, a blanket, a sleeve of plastic cups, microwave popcorn, homemade hot chocolate mix, and other goodies intended to help the college kids feel special. This isn’t just a Navarro County thing, though. On Tuesday, they were one of dozens of other mom’s clubs from around the state that prepared similar goodie bags and boxes for their students.
“There’s competition of how you prepared the gifts, and what gifts you give,” said Paula Cain, president of the Navarro club. “It’s fun.”
“(The students) just grin from ear to ear. They’re excited to see what’s in it.”
Shae Harp, a junior who transferred to A&M after getting his associate’s degree from Navarro, said he was eagerly anticipating the arrival of the mother’s club members with the traditional gift bags.
“It’s an awesome experience for the kids here because you’ve got the anxiety of finals but you get to see your mother and you get some gifts,” said Shae Harp, son of Sharla Allen. “It’s a great experience for us.”
Jacob Williams, the son of Cindy Williams, has gotten the exam bags in the past, and it’s something he looks forward to each semester. The bags are delivered in fall and spring in the week approaching exams.
“It’s kind of a hallmark thing we have,” he said.
The group, formally called the Navarro County Texas A&M Mothers’ Club, and more informally the Aggie Mom’s Club, raises money for scholarships, takes the goodie bags prior to finals’ week, and hosts a monthly meeting that’s part social and part business, with an emphasis on the social.
“We’re here to support the students in any way that we can,” said Lesa Goins, one of the founders of the local organization. The group was started in Navarro County in 2004.
The Navarro County club is part of a larger Federation of Aggie Moms’ Clubs was formed nationwide in 1928 by 11 concerned mothers in a time when A&M was a smaller, rougher all-boys school. Now, the Aggie Moms have 119 clubs around the state and country, which donates about $300,000 a year to the school and scholarships, according to the Federation of Aggie Moms’ Clubs website.
Beyond the scholarships, things like the goodie bags, tailgate events and events both on campus and off, come out of moms’ pockets, not the club funds, Goins pointed out.
Only the students whose mothers are in the club receive the goodie bags, but any student interested in going to A&M can apply for one of the scholarships, according to Goins. The scholarships are awarded based on a students’ financial need and merit.
Currently, there are about 30 mothers in the club, but they’re aware there are dozens more students at A&M from Navarro.
“There’s always been a lot of Aggies from Navarro County,” Goins said. “We try to encourage all mothers of A&M students to participate.”
Mothers interested in joining the club, or students interested in applying for scholarships, can contact Cain at (903) 654-4021.
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