The Giving Tree was originally started as an outreach of Student Affairs. While brainstorming at a Student Affairs Retreat, Dr. John Byrd, former vice president for Student Affairs, asked for ideas their division could do for the University community. Donna Moore, Chris Jines & Pam Hopson formed the idea for a giving tree for needy students and/or staff. Student Affairs agreed to purchase four artificial trees to be placed around campus. Staff Council took over this yearly mission in 2001 and created criteria forms of eligibility. There were 34 individual people who received gifts that first year.
In 2011 there were over 35 families that recieved assistance that year and in 2012, 38 families were represented on the ornaments, with over 60+ children both years!
During the Holiday Season (November -December) office locations on campus will host a tree where ornaments, representing familes requesting assistance, can be selected with a gift wish on it for a child, youth or an adult. Early in October, an online application and paper forms will be made available for those who need assistance during the holiday season. Emails will be sent out announcing the beginning of the application process.