Annual Giving Tree spreads holiday joy

November 29, 2011

Student Danielle Fournier looks at a tag on the HCC Giving Tree.Karen Desjeans stands by the HCC Giving Tree.

For the 12th holiday season, Holyoke Community College is continuing its tradition of helping those less fortunate through the annual Giving Tree campaign

The HCC Giving Trees are set up in the lobby of the Frost building outside the president's office and in the library. This year, 385 blue, green and orange tags decorated the trees when the campaign began in early November. Each tag represents a gift suggestion for a special recipient from one of three community organizations: West Mass Eldercare, Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and the Homework House. Gift suggestions run from toys, clothes and school supplies for children, items for expectant mothers, such as diapers, and gift cards, sweaters, candy, chocolate, blankets and winter coats for seniors.

"For the last two years we have filled 100 percent of the requests," said Karen Desjeans, one of the HCC organizers and a Giving Tree Committee member. "Obviously, that is our goal again this year."

Helping to spread some holiday joy is as easy as grabbing one of the remaining tags, buying the gift, wrapping it up with the original tag attached and returning it to the president's office by Friday, Dec. 9.

Monetary donations will also be accepted.

"If someone doesn't have time to go to the store and wants to give money instead, we will shop for them," she said.

Finally, please mark your calendars for Tuesday, December 13 at 10:00 a.m. for the closing ceremony in Frost 309. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy some holiday cheer and light refreshments. Representatives from the recipient agencies will be on hand to share their stories about the people your gifts will be going to and the tremendous impact those gifts haves on the lives of others.

If you have any questions, please contact a member of the Giving Tree Committee: Colleen Cameron at x2223, Tama Chambers at x2036, Gloria Defillipo at 2236, Karen Desjeans at x2221, Mayra Diaz at x2227, Christine Gosselin-Miller at x2568, Beth Leary at x2210, Yanina Vargas-Arriaga at x2100, Sandra Womeldorf at x2554,Gail Golas at x2270 or Emma Young at x2589.

Photos: (Left) HCC student Danielle Fournier of Easthampton looks at one of the gift tags. (Right) Giving Tree committee member Karen Desjeans stands by the Giving Tree in the third floor lobby of the Frost building.


Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave. Holyoke, MA 01040