Angel Tree Provides Gifts to Those in Need This Holiday Season
The Angel Tree Project has become an annual holiday tradition at Elizabethtown College. This service project where students, faculty, and staff purchase holiday gifts for both children and adults is sponsored by Etown’s Center for Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE) and Student Senate dates back more than 10 years now at the College. Although the details of the event looked slightly different this year due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Etown College community was still able to provide gifts for those in the surrounding community to brighten their holiday season.
Traditionally, students would staff tables on campus to both promote the gift drive as well as collect donations made by students, faculty, and staff. But this year, in order to comply with social distancing guidelines, donors signed up to participate online and chose the child or adult they were interested in buying gifts for. To eliminate the need to leave the campus, students were encouraged to shop online and bring their gifts to the Baugher Student Center, where volunteers from Etown’s Student Senate provided the wrapping paper and wrapped the gifts. Once all of the gifts were received and wrapped, CCCE delivered them to the agency partners. The project also included adults this year for the first time due to the challenges brought on by the pandemic. The Elizabethtown Community Housing & Outreach Services (ECHOS) provided the College with a list of adult needs as well. Students who were studying remotely this semester were also able to participate by sending gift cards in the mail to the CCCE, which would then be wrapped by students and delivered with the other gifts.
Makensie Kilby, a senior Environmental Science and Legal Studies dual major, has been involved with the Angel Tree Project since her sophomore year at Etown. As the Service Chair for Student Senate, she plays a main role in the organization and execution of the event each year. Kilby loves that this project gives her and the rest of the Etown community the ability to give back to the community and those in need:
“Angel Tree is just one of many of our events that embody our Educate for Service motto,” she said. “I feel that by giving back to our local community, we are not only growing as a student body, but we are also impacting the lives of those around us. It’s amazing seeing how many students take the time out of their day to make this event, and the amazing gifts that students buy truly show you how much we care for our community.”
Amidst the multitude of challenges this year has brought, the annual Angel Tree project was more important than ever before. With the support and generosity of the Etown College community, the Center for Community and Civic Engagement was able to provide over 45 gifts to both adults and children in the Elizabethtown community this holiday season.