Giving Tree gives chance to help others during the holidays

December 12, 2018 — by Nitya Marimuthu and Jun Lee

A tall Christmas tree stood in the office on Monday, Dec. 10, bare of the tags that previously covered every branch. Dozens of gifts surrounded the base of the tree and overflowed onto nearby tables. The green tags, with various children’s wishes for the holidays, were attached to the many presents: Monopoly, Barbies, Musical tea kettles and more colorful desires.

This was the successful culmination of the annual Family Giving Tree drive, which was run by the sophomore class and ended on Dec. 10, collecting around 270 gifts.

The purpose of the drive was to provide gifts for less fortunate children in Santa Clara County, from infants to seniors in high school, according to sophomore class president Erica Lee. The Leadership class worked with service learning director Tim Galleher as well as the Family Giving Tree organization to run the drive.

Leadership received tags from Gallaher, each containing the child’s name, age and gift they wish to receive. These tags were distributed between the high school, Redwood Middle School and Foothill and two of the three Saratoga elementary schools. This year, Argonaut Elementary School ran its own holiday drive. The tags at the high school hung on a Christmas tree in the office for students to take while others were distributed in classes.

Every year, the classes take turns running the Giving Tree drive, but sophomore class ran the drive both this year and last year, as freshmen. Sophomore class secretary Tyler Chu said that Leadership teacher Matt Torrens liked the way they ran the drive last year, so he asked them to run the drive again this year.

Leadership gave out around 400 tags this year, according to sophomore class treasurer Lauren Tan. Last year, a lot of students participated in the drive, with around 250 gifts donated.

“Last year a parent was touched by what we were doing and donated a teddy bear for each gift under the tree at Argonaut,”  Tan said.

One of Leadership’s goals for this drive is for students to realize the effect they have on others, according to Tan. Both Tan and Lee hope that students understand the joys of helping people and the effect that their gifts have.

“Hopefully students enjoy buying the cute little gifts and realize that they’re making another person’s Christmas better,” Lee said.

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