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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggie Moms provide essentials for facing finals

Photo by By Dalia Muayad

Aggie moms club prepared finals care packages to distribute to students. 

As finals season approaches, the Federation of Texas A&M University Mothers’ Clubs has set out to provide traditional goody bags to students.
According to federation president Carolyn E. Phelan, whether ordered by the parent or provided on a first come first serve basis, finals goody bags are organized by select committees within Aggie Moms’ Clubs. The moms are in charge of gathering goodies they believe students might want or need as stress relief or to get some nourishment in between studying.
“The clubs always do some really clever creative stuff for these goody bags and in it they’ll put stuff like nonperishable type food, sometimes scantrons or extra pencils or coupons,” Phelan said.
The tradition of goody bags goes all the way back to February of 1922 when the first Aggies moms’ Club was founded in Dallas County, Phelan said.
“Mrs. Peoples, the mom who started it all, wanted to be recognized by the officials,” Phelan said. “She knew the way to a man’s heart was through food and so she and the other ladies in Dallas, 12 of them, that magic number 12, packed up food and brought a home cooked spread to them. It was fried chicken and cookies and bread. That was kind of the very first care package and goody bags.”
The Federation is composed of 108 chapter clubs that are located all across the state and country who are determined to give back to all the branch schools of the Texas A&M system by providing both financial and moral support to all students, according to Phelan.
President of the Austin Aggie Mothers Club, Denise Isenhour, said while all Aggie Moms’ clubs are similar in that they fit under the Federation umbrella, they all have different approaches to the goody bag because they’re all passionate about different things. Isenhour’s club, for example, is passionate about veterans.
After having Col. Jerry Smith, director of A&M’s Veteran’s Resource and Support Center as a guest speaker last year during one of the Austin Aggie Moms’ monthly meetings. Isenhour said it pulled at their heart strings and she felt called to include veteran students in the goody bag program.
“He just talked about how sometimes it’s difficult for these students who have served and come back and they’re older and they’re trying to fit into the student aspect again,” Isenhour said. “A lot of times they don’t have the resources of mom and dad like your freshman through seniors have.”
Isenhour shared this idea with the Federation hoping other Aggie Moms’ Clubs would want to participate in the initiative as well.
“Initially I thought we would end up with maybe 20 or 25 but we ended up with 50 within our own club and after asking other clubs if they would like to participate we ended up with a total of 178 goody bags,” Isenhour said. “This is the first year we’ve done this. The first semester and I can see that it’s going to grow from here.”
In addition to goody bags for veteran students, the offer was also extended to Gold Star students, those who have lost a parent through war or service.
“It’s one of those ways that we felt that we could give back and I don’t know if we’re making a difference or not, but we’re putting some smiles on some faces and hopefully letting a group of people that we love them and that we care for them and that we’re thankful for the freedom that they have provided for us,” Isenhour said. “And these veterans, they exemplify the Aggie core value of selfless service.”
President of Dallas County Aggie Moms’ Club, Robin McMahan said the timing for the bags is just right, as many students enter the most stressful time of the semester.
“I think the goody bags are nice because they come right before finals and it just kind of like, ‘Oh, I get to go pick up my goody bag’ and you never know what it’s gonna be,” McMahan said.
For what is almost a week long process right before finals begin, Aggie moms from all different parts of the state, representing each county and city, will drive out to College Station and set up in the Veterans Office located in John J. Koldus Building for all veteran student goody bags to be picked up by the students and in the Memorial Student Center Ballroom for all other goody bags, Phelan said.
According to Phelan, from what they understand, there is not another university in the U.S. that has a mothers club that does what they do.
“We’re moms and we’re there to take care of the whole student body, not just our own,” Phelan said. “It’s just so much bigger than that. I think most of the moms understand that we exist as an organization for all the Aggies past, present and future.”

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  • Aggie moms distributed care packages to student to help prepare them for finals week. 

    Photo by By Dalia Muayad

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