The Giving Tree shares campus holiday spirit

Christina Canady, Contributing Writer

The Giving Tree is an annual tradition held at the University that took place between Nov. 10 and Dec. 3 this year. On average, the Giving Tree project distributes approximately 400 gifts throughout the local communities in the Lewisburg, Sunbury, and Milton areas in Pennsylvania. The Giving Tree collects gifts as well as money. The contributions are then delivered to families in need during the holiday season.

Each November, a Christmas tree is placed on campus. This year the tree was stationed in the Bertrand Library and draped in paper snowflakes. Each of the snowflakes features information to purchase the desired gifts. Wrapped gifts were then collected in the Office of Civic Engagement by Dec. 3 and distributed with the help of students to the various agencies before the holiday season. 

Assistant Director of Community Service Lynn Pierson has been involved in the Giving Tree project for the last four years. Associate Dean of Students Amy Badal originally started the Giving Tree project in 2004. Badal started the Giving Tree on campus loosely based on the idea presented in the children’s book, “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. Since the project has started, Pierson has noticed an increased amount of requests for gifts from local agencies as well as a great deal of participation in purchasing and distributing the gifts annually.

The Giving Tree receives requests from roughly 15 agencies. This year requests were collected from senior homes, children’s homes, and homeless shelters. These locations include agencies such as Elmcroft Senior Living, Essex Place, Riverwoods, Rockwell Retirement Center, Buffalo Valley Lutheran Village, Columbia Montour Snyder Union, Milton YMCA, Greater Susquehanna YMCA, Danville State Hospital, Children’s Choice, Haven Ministry Center, and the Milton Developmental Services.

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