As the holiday season officially begins, the Loras College Social Work Council is again helping Christmas dreams come true through the Giving Tree.
“This year we wish to make sure every family who requests help for Christmas receives it,” Giving Tree student coordinator Teage Browning explains.
The Giving Tree is an annual program which provides Christmas gifts to children, from newborns to teenagers, who’s families are in need and may not be able to afford even the necessities. The program is administered by the Social Work Council, which is made up mostly of Social Work Majors, in conjunction with Operation New View, a local community action agency. Operation New View first identifies and provides names and information about families and children in need to the Giving Tree program. Then, the Giving Tree provides various options for people to help the children in need.
First, participants can adopt a child from the Giving Tree, get the child’s information including their name, age, and clothing sizes, and then shop for the necessities and extra gifts if possible. Participants then return the gifts and the child’s information tag to Campus Ministry and the gifts are distributed to the child’s family just before the holidays.
Additionally, participants have the option of making a monetary donation. All donations are used by the Social Work Council to purchase necessities for those children not adopted from the tree. If any money is left over, games and toys are purchased to make the child’s Christmas extra special.
Finally, participants can get involved in the Giving Tree by becoming part of the team that raises money and advertises the program. It is not necessary to be a social work major to get involved.
Last year the Giving Tree helped over one hundred and sixty children have a wonderful holiday through the generosity of Loras students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other Dubuque community members.
“In an ideal world, there would be no need for help,” said Browning. “As long as there is a need, Giving Tree wishes to help Christmas dreams be met.”
For those interested in meeting these dreams this year, whether it be through donations of time to raise awareness of the Giving Tree or donations of money to purchase gifts, please e-mail Teage Browning at Teage.Browning@loras.edu.