The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

Giving Trees and Adopting-a-Family: Every way you can donate this holiday

Photo by Katie Walsh
Giving Tree donations in Holy Trinity Church

Every holiday season, toys and clothes are donated in abundance to churches, schools and stores to help people in need throughout the month of December. Involving the community in these donations shows the importance of giving back and how gifts and clothing can make a difference to families in need. The Giving Tree and Adopting-a Family are two of these traditions that are spreading not only within our community, but across the country.

In the Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church community, the Giving Tree tradition is a celebration of the Christmas season. Members of the community can donate and participate in more ways than one. Each tree is decorated with ornaments attached with requests or wishes from a family in need, ranging from children’s clothing to craft sets to Target gift cards. Anyone can pick a wish off of the tree and bring back wrapped gifts to donate.

Kathy Hilliard has been attending Holy Trinity for years and is always excited to see the Giving Tree decorated and acknowledged that she is eager to donate what she can.

“It’s been a long tradition at Holy Trinity and we have so many blessings in our house that we look to give back to those less fortunate than us,” she said. Anyone can choose to donate but putting the tree in the church encourages donations at every service.

Through the participation of dozens of church members, each year the Giving Tree brings in around $10,000 worth of donations according to Holy Trinity. Father Anthony Randazzo wants everyone who donates to remember why giving back during the holidays is so important. “The Giving Tree is about the spirit of generosity to others after Jesus gave the world the supreme gift of love,” he said. “And as Christ gave us so many blessings in our lives we look to give back to those around us in the Christmas season.”

While the tradition is an important part of the holidays at Holy Trinity, Giving Trees have become a trend across social media promoting donations throughout the season. “Angel Tree,” the common name on TikTok, has been featured in many videos. Created by the Salvation Army, each tree asks for donations for specific gifts. These trees are seen in large stores such as Walmart, and all donations sponsor a child or family throughout the holiday season.

As many families choose to donate over the holidays, donating traditions have expanded throughout the last few years to Adopting-a-Family. Adopting-a-Family has become a part of the giving tradition where members of the community can pick a family who has a list of what they need for the holiday season. These requests range from coats and household items to toys and gift wrapping.

Adopting-a-Family was a way to expand donations and give an idea of exactly how each gift was making an impact. Holy Trinity partners with St. Joe’s Service Center in Elizabeth and creates a wishlist for each family in need and contributors donate sets of gifts and clothes for each member in the family.

Anything from the Giving Tree to Adopting-a-Family is a way to get more people involved in the donation process and to help those who may need help to make their holiday complete. Everyone can find a Giving Tree at their local Walmart and can make donations to the Salvation Army that will be accepting donations until the end of December.

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