December 19, 2017
Eleven gifts for each of 28 children, with plenty left over to make other children smile!
That's the tally for the annual Giving Tree conducted by West Chester University's Office of Residence Life and Housing for the benefit of the children living with their mothers at Kindred House, a local residential long-term treatment facility for women.
For almost 20 years, the WCU Office of Residence Life and Housing has partnered with Kindred House to brighten the holidays for the clients' children. Prior to the holidays, children make "wish lists" of presents they hope to receive. The University community collects donations of toys, books, clothing, and other gifts, which are sorted and wrapped in preparation for a children's holiday party hosted by students.
This year, approximately 45 WCU students helped deck the halls and host the party on Dec. 7, held in a Killinger Hall common room made even more festive with music, refreshments, and a Christmas tree. The children enjoyed singing, making gingerbread houses and other craft activities as they waited for Santa and Mrs. Claus.
"This is such a wonderful opportunity to give back," noted Justin Brown, resident director in Allegheny Hall. "The children are always so happy and grateful for all that they receive. The mothers always have a good time as well."
He said each child received one gift to open onsite. Then, as they left the party, each mother and child was amazed to receive a bag filled with a minimum of 10 additional gifts.
Brown said there are enough presents remaining to bring joy to other less fortunate children so, for the first time, the Giving Tree project is hosting a second party, this one for the Children's Home of York.