Giving tree helps local families

By Paxtyn Merten

Once again, the season of giving has crept its way up to the present. For the second year in a row, giving is being made easier at MTHS with the giving tree.

The giving tree, organized by student support advocate Ashley Johnson and co-sponsored by the sophomore class ASB, is a program where people can buy gifts for children whose families can’t afford to purchase any. The gifts go to the Holly House, which is a local organization that helps out hundreds of families at 12 district schools, including MTHS.

At Holly House, adult members of families pick out gifts from the variety of collected donations to take home and give to their children.

“I think the Giving Tree is a great way for the school to come together to support the community. It takes a burden off of the families in need, and I hope to do it every year,” Johnson said.

Last year, the process of the giving tree was slightly different. Instead of mass distribution, 45 families, with around six people per family sent in requests for specific items. This year’s method of contribution will help out many more families over a larger span of schools.

There are leaves with gift ideas taped to the showcase near the front entrance of the school. To participate in the giving tree, anyone can select one or more of the leaves and go out and buy the present that is represented on the leaf. Then return it, unwrapped, to the counseling office.

The gifts should be given to the counseling office by Dec. 14 because the Holly House is dispersing them on Dec. 15. However, the gifts will be accepted up until Holly House takes place to ensure the largest possible donation. Johnson is hoping that parents, staff, and students will come together in a great final leap this last week before the Holly House distribution in order to meet the gift goal.

The gift goal this year is 1000 gifts. So far, roughly 200 have been donated by students, staff and parents. These include items like clothes, toys, shoes, headphones, sports equipment, and gift cards. They are inexpensive items but are things that would mean the world to a family in need.