The Giving Tree is an outreach program that provides gifts to faculty, staff and students with children in the USI community that are in need of assistance.
Since its inception in 2001, an average of 20-25 families receive assistance each year, with over 60+ children receiving gifts of clothing and toys.
During the Holiday Season (November -December) office locations on campus will host a tree where ornaments, representing families 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.
Did You Know?
The Giving Tree originally began 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 that their division could implement for the University community. Donna Moore, Chris Jines and Pam Hopson formed the idea of a giving tree for students and/or staff in need. Student Affairs agreed to purchase four artificial trees to be placed around campus.
Staff Council began sponsoring this yearly mission in 2001 and developed the criteria for eligibility. There were 34 individual people who received gifts the first year.