Giving Tree eases holiday stress

By Rachel Horath - Staff Reporter


The holiday season can bring joy to many students and their families, but for those who are struggling in their daily lives, this can be an overwhelming time of year. 

Highline's Women's Programs wants to help relieve the stress.

And for one recipient of that help last year, it made her holiday special.

"My eyes filled with tears because I was so thankful that someone would spend that extra time to make my holidays happen," said Jane, a student who asked to remain anonymous. 

"Students have a wide range of emotions about the holidays. Students typically stress about not having enough food and gifts for the holiday season," said Women's Programs Event Coordinator Maria Toloza.

The Giving Tree is an annual event put on by the Women's Programs to help low-income students provide toys and much needed items for their families, Toloza said. 

"The Giving Tree is a godsend because parents enrolled in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families only receive a few hundred dollars a month, which is not enough to get by during the holidays," Jane said. 

The Women's Programs staff is asking for sponsors to donate toys and clothes to help students' families this holiday season. 

"Part of serving our students is helping them with aid, such as gifts that can help students feel less stressed and to hopefully have a good holiday," Toloza said.

Participants will be asked to make a wish-list of a few items, which will be matched to a sponsor. The first 10 students who are enrolled with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families are given priority.

The remaining sponsors and donations will be granted to students who are experiencing hardships, such as lack of income.

Any individuals interested in participating, either as a donor or a recipient, are asked to sign up in the Women's Programs office in Building 8, on the first floor.

Sponsors are asked to get involved by talking to any staff member in the Women's Programs office.

Sponsors' donations should be items from their assigned students wish lists. Items normally requested are children toys, books, and clothing. Gifts cards are always welcomed, but no cash. 

Last year the Giving Tree was able to assist 21 families, which equated to 71 children.

"Our goal is to help as many students in need on campus," said Women's Programs Assistant Alycia Williams.

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