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“Giving Tree” Inspires Holiday Giving in the NFA Community

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"The Giving Tree" once decorated with gift tags (left) is now surrounded by presents (right).

"The Giving Tree" once decorated with gift tags (left) is now surrounded by presents (right).

Jack Holdsworth, Staff Writer

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During this holiday season, many people around the world will purchase gifts for their loved ones; however, some will struggle to afford the basics.   NFA’s Project Outreach set out to help those in need with its “Giving Tree.”

The “Giving Tree, ” located on the main floor of the Tirrell building, featured “different items on it, where people will  take a tag, and they will purchase those items,” according to Project Outreach Coordinator Jodi Savage.

The items represent basic necessities.

“They are very simple things, things that we take for granted every day.  But for someone who is in a shelter with limited funds, it’s something that they really need. So, toothbrushes, brushes, combs, laundry detergent, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, dog food, dog treats, dog toys, diapers, wipes, hats, mittens, scarves, that type of thing.”

Savage said, “A lot of the items on a tree cost a dollar or less. You can go to the dollar store and get almost everything that is on that tree.”

“Those items will be brought back to our office, and we will be donating those items to different shelters in the community,” Savage explained.

“The items might go to an animal shelter, the items might go to a shelter for domestic violence, a shelter for homeless veterans, or a shelter for homeless people. We also have a shelter that deals with women getting back into the community; with getting their apartment and that kind of thing.”

The holiday season, in Savage’s mind, is an inspiration for giving.

“You are out shopping for your presents, or you are buying for other people, and so, you kind of think about the blessings and gifts that you have in your life, and so you think about people who don’t have that as well.”

Savage hopes that the tree has  inspired the NFA Community to realize the importance of giving.

“We are hoping that it reaches those who are in need, first and foremost, but we are also hoping that it reminds the students that no matter who you are, or where you live, there is always someone who is worse off than you might be,” said Savage.

The Giving Tree has “about 200 tags, and we have already gone through most of them” according to Savage, who is “hoping that everyone will take a tag and donate.”

The tree was inspired by similar holiday campaigns put on by various organizations at this time of year.

“There was another club at NFA that did it two years ago. The Salvation Army does trees similar to this; a lot of churches do trees similar to this.”

The donations came pouring in over the two week period that the tree was up.

“A lot of people took a tag, and brought in more than what was on the tag; some people took two tags,” said Savage.  There were only 5 tags left on the tree on December 20th.

Lower Christina Breneman said that she donated in the spirit of the holidays.

¨The holiday season is supposed to be a time of giving, not a time of receiving,” Breneman added.

Breneman was inspired to help support this cause because, ¨There are people who are less fortunate, [but] deserve to have gifts, as well.¨

The NFA community’s holiday spirit showed through their donations. These simple gifts will likely mean so much to the recipients, who have so little.

 

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