The Giving Tree: SHS helps with the holiday season December 8, 2016 — by Vivien Zhang The office has obtained a Christmas tree for the Giving Tree Orginization. While holiday presents can often be taken for granted, the SHS Leadership class is emphasizing the value of gift-giving by participating in the Holiday Wish Drive. The office is currently decked out in garlands and a Christmas tree — all adorned with various cards in the shape of presents, with each card enclosing a simple wish from an underprivileged child in the Bay Area. Created by the Giving Tree organization, the Holiday Wish Drive collaborates with a nonprofit agency to meets with hundreds of children and printing their holiday wishes on a “wish card.” Each year, the organization sends about 300 cards to the school, each labeled with an item that could bring a less-fortunate child in the Bay Area joy during the Christmas season. “We started this event due to the interest of the ASB to reach out to the greater community,” Leadership class adviser Matt Torrens said. “The current ASB felt it was worthy of our attention and stepped up to organize it again this year.” Students are asked by the social studies teachers to voluntarily take a card from the tree if they wish to participate. In the past, the school has collected around 75-100 presents per year. “I think it's nice for us to be encouraging this event especially in such a privileged community like Saratoga,” junior dance commissioner Mervi Tan said. “I don't think we realize how simple some of these gifts are because we can simply go to the store to buy it, but they actually mean a lot to the kids that we're giving them too.” Presents were collected last Thursday Dec. 8 and Friday Dec. 9, and were dropped off to the Giving Tree organization in the South Bay.