Sixteen years. Four agencies. Three trees. Three hundred thirty-eight gift tags.
That's a very brief summary of this year's HCC Giving Tree Campaign, which officially kicked off today.
The numbers, however, do not tell the full story.
Pick a tag -- any tag -- and you begin to get a more complete picture
For instance, a 98-year-old woman, a client of WestMass Elder Care, would like an amaryllis plant.
A 9-year-old boy could use a winter hat, gloves and a scarf.
A 70-year-old veteran would like a gift card to Dunkin Donuts, or a pair of sweat pants.
"No child or elderly person should be left without a gift for the holidays," said Daisy Castro, '15, a member of this year's Giving Tree Committee.
Thanks to the generosity of so many members of the HCC community, clients of four local charities will be getting gifts this year.
Gift donations will benefit 338 clients from the Holyoke Homework House (yellow tags), Holyoke Soldiers' Home (gray tags), WestMass Elder Care (green tags), Massachustts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (red tags).
Giving Trees are located in the third floor lobby of the Frost Building and the HCC Library.
New this year, a third Giving Tree has been added at the Bartley Center for Athletics and Recreation.
Wrapped gifts need to be returned by Thursday, Dec. 3, either to the President's Library on the third floor of the Frost Building, or to the Bartley Center.
"We're going to be really busy doing our shopping," said Giving Tree Committee chair Gail Golas. "We're hoping for a really great year."
The gifts will be distributed to representatives from the four agencies at a holiday party on Thursday, Dec. 10, in Frost 309.
"This room will be full of lots of gifts and lots of people," Golas said.