News + Events

FHU Marketing Students Help Families Pay Adoption Expenses

Henderson, TN - Jan 27, 2015

Freed-Hardeman University marketing students presented checks Monday night, Jan. 26, to two Henderson families to help with costs of international adoptions. The money was generated by students in Dr. Lee Hibbett's marketing classes.

Following through on a challenge from Mark Steiner, dean of the FHU College of Business, the students designed and executed fund-raising projects that succeeded beyond their expectations.

Checks for $1,100 went to Scott and Christy Miskelly and Ryan and Abby Hysmith. Both families are currently in the adoption process. The Miskellys will adopt two boys from Haiti. The Hysmiths plan to adopt one or two children from Lesotho.

The Miskellys have already met their future sons, Cherdinore, age 7, and Davidson, age 5. The boys are currently in a Haitian orphanage. Their case has made it to the court system. Once the judge rules, the boys will take the Miskelly name and their new parents will apply for visas and passports at the American embassy in Port au Prince, a process that can take up to three months. The boys could come to Henderson as early as April, or later, Scott Miskelly said. It will be the final step in a journey that began in 2012.

The Hysmiths’ attempt to adopt will have taken three years in May, and they still do not have a “match.” “It is really hard to adopt a child from another country,” Ryan Hysmith said. Once they receive a match, the couple will be in Lesotho, a small country land-locked by South Africa, for three weeks before they can bring the new addition, or additions, home. They already have two sons, Brody, 3, and Wyatt, 1. Wyatt came to the family via a domestic adoption from Small World Adoption, the agency they are using this time, also. 

Both families expressed their gratitude to the FHU students. “International adoption is extremely expensive,” Scott Miskelly said. “This gift can be used for so much. It could pay for their plane tickets home.”

As for the Hysmiths, they have a fee to pay in a couple of months. “This just about covers it,” Abby Hysmith said. “This is a blessing that came at just the right time.”

One marketing class raised the money via a Change War in which the various floors in the residence halls competed to see who could donate the most change. Students were generous, Kaitlyn Rochelle, one of the team leaders, told the families, “because they love you and they love what you are doing.” 

The other marketing team organized Chick-fil-A Friday. They pre-sold 215 sandwiches to local companies and offices and ordered 185 more to sell at the downtown wi-fi park. They sold out in 20 minutes and nearly doubled their investment. “We wanted to raise money and give the community something they wanted,” Lanie Sewell, leader of the other team, said.

Hibbett, who hopes the project will expand and continue, believes it is “off to a great start.” “I was overwhelmed by the amount they raised,” he said, “but it wasn’t just these students; it was the community, too.”