The Spirit of Giving: The Loras College Giving Tree

LORAS COLLEGE – The holidays don’t just bring out friendship, they also bring out generosity in people, whether they donate to a church or organize a canned food drive. Students and staff at Loras College have their own way of making the season bright.

Tag Image.Still003The Giving Tree is an organization that asks people to donate gifts for needy families in their community. The Loras branch aids families in the Dubuque area. Students purchase different items as listed on “tags,” and provide the items to a central giving tree location. From there, the presents are donated to the families for them to wrap and give their children on Christmas.

The chairwoman of the Loras Social Work club, Teage Browning, was in charge of the activity this year, and stated, “We ask that they at least fill the needs of the child, so usually we have it labelled, like if they need boots, or a coat. We ask that they at least fill the need, and then it has an extra list of toys….”

Through buying gifts for others, students receive a gift themselves, as Tricia Borelli said. “I think it’s a really good learning experience for kids, and it encourages them to want to do it in the future, and have a little bit of perspective on what other people, you know, get for Christmas….”

As part of the Loras Men’s Soccer Team, Ethan Krogman also sees the Giving Tree as a useful pastime: “I think it’s a good idea to do because some of us are more fortunate than others, so why not?”

After all the purchases are made, the Loras Social work club performs the next step, in which they collect the gifts to send somewhere else. “Tonight [Monday, December 7] we are basically just sorting the gifts into families, um, and the we are going to prepare to bring the gifts down to Operation New View….”

With a large amount of donations, and more coming in, the leaders of the group welcome this outpouring of Christmas spirit, and encourage others to get involved. 

“If you haven’t already, donations are always welcome, and you should help us create a happy Christmas.”Pile of Gifts


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Levi Bernhard is currently a senior student at Loras College. He originally hails from St. Benedict, a small town near Algona, Iowa. Levi is a reporter and crew member for LCTV News, and helps contribute stories to productions. A couple years ago, he worked as an intern at Kossuth Regional Health Center, recording and editing videos. This past January, he went on a travel January Term course to Greece, where he helped create a couple of short documentaries about the country. He enjoys being in media studies because he likes the concepts of telling stories to wide audiences, and working with a variety of technology. He is also in media studies because he has a dream of becoming a filmmaker.

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