'Giving Tree' to provide gifts for low-income families

Careyanne Johnson

Every December at Laramie County Community College lower-income families benefit from a harvest. However, it is not fruits, vegetables or grains being collected but toys, clothes and other gifts.

These gifts come from an event called the Giving Tree, in which families can register to receive gifts on Dec. 8 in the student lounge from 3:30–6 p.m.

Allen Price, manager of transitional serves at LCCC, said the Giving Tree was started to alleviate financial burdens from low-income families while still allowing them to provide gifts for their children.

“Dianne Lowe-Carpenter started this event because they saw a need during this stressful season and saw it as a kind way to take the burden off of (low-income) students,” Price said.

He said low-income students with children should visit the advising office in Student Services Room 121 to sign up for the Giving Tree and give general information about their children such as gender, clothing sizes, shoe sizes, favorite colors or needed items.

The sign-up sheet has been out the entire month of November and will be open for students and faculty to register their children until the Giving Tree event on Dec. 8.

All the children’s names and information submitted will then be placed on a star and pinned to the Giving Tree. Anyone may donate financially. To donate, contact Price or stop by the advising office and pick one of the stars with a child’s name on it and buy a gift, according to the information labeled on the star.

Price suggested the maximum gift amount should be around $30. Price said, “In the past the Giving Tree has received an average of $2,500 in gifts, not to mention community groups bring in food to give away.”

Those interested in donating to the Giving Tree or buying a gift for a child must bring the gifts back to Price in the advising office by Dec. 8. The children who have been placed on a star will open their gifts in the commons. According to Price, usually 80-90 stars are available, helping 10–40 families. Those who are registered for the Giving Tree event Dec. 8 but miss it can contact Price to receive their gifts.

“The only difference between this year and past years is the Giving Tree is taking place a week earlier due to school starting a week earlier, and hopefully more children will get the gifts they dreamed of this season,” Price said.