Campus Community Steps Up to Make This Time of Year Brighter for Children
November 19, 2021

After a two-year absence, the Giving Tree is back on the Stanislaus State campus and proving that helping a child in need is a popular way for Warriors to feel the joy of the holiday season.

Sponsored by Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) and the University Student Center (SC), the tree was placed in the University Student Center in mid-November and decorated with 90 tags bearing the requests of children at three Turlock elementary schools. Within a few days, all but nine tags had been taken by students, faculty and staff members who will buy the requested items and return the unwrapped presents to the SC by Monday, Dec. 13.

ASI Leadership Manager Katie Rotan said the Warriors Giving Back program was created to encourage and facilitate charitable giving to help make an impact in the community. ASI Leadership Graduate Assistant Colin Gage said the tree has sparked “pretty good engagement” from the campus community.

“It gives students, faculty and staff a chance to give back to local kids,” said Gage, who is working toward a master’s degree in English with a concentration in rhetoric and the teaching of writing. “Associated Students and the Student Center want to give back to the community, and this is a very practical way to do it.”

Useful winter items such as jackets and socks — as well as toys — are among items requested by elementary school children. Anyone can check out a tag from the tree or visit the Giving Tree’s Amazon Wish List to give virtually and have their purchases delivered directly to ASI and SC.

As unwrapped gifts arrive at the SC, they will be checked to ensure they match the requests, then wrapped by staff before they are delivered to the elementary schools.

The Giving Tree is part of ASI and SC’s year-round community service program called Warriors Giving Back. The tree started in 2014 but did not make an appearance in 2019 and 2020 due to construction and the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to the Giving Tree, the Warriors Giving Back program features a fall semester backpack and school supply drive and a spring semester blood drive.