Giving hope to children one classroom at a time

      By Valencia

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - When Emily Hoisington first thought of giving back, she had no idea it would bloom into such a large project. Now thanks to her, 900 Charleston-area students will get a free Christmas gift.

      "My sister is a first grade teacher at Charleston Progressive Academy," said Hoisington. "Last year she was just telling me stories about the kids and how most of them didn't get Christmas presents. So, I really felt something was telling me to do something about it."

      About a month ago, Hoisington started Charleston Hope, a nonprofit organization built to help restore Charleston's youth.

      "I sat down and I just emailed all the organizations at the College of Charleston, Charleston Southern and just different people that I knew at different businesses that owned businesses to adopt classrooms," she said.

      Before long, Hoisington managed to get 46 classrooms adopted at Burns Elementary and Charleston Progressive Academy.

      "We want them to feel like they have a backing system behind them, a support system," Hoisington said.

      Each student in the classrooms will get one donated Christmas gift.

      Lynn Owings, principal for Burns Elementary, said the gifts will be much-appreciated.

      "It's really critical because our children and our families go through so much. And, every parent wants the best for their child, but they're struggling," said Owings. "They were struggling before our economy became in the shape that it's in. So, you can only imagine what they are going through at this time."

      Owings says the work of Charleston Hope will give her students tangible hope for success.

      "It's unbelievable for an organization to be able to provide a gift for every child. When each child at Burns sees their classmates getting a gift then they know Burns is an important place. This school cares about me. This community cares about me."

      The gifts will be delivered on Dec. 14.