Holiday Helper Tree to bring help to those in need

Peyton Callanan

With the holiday season in full swing, Georgia Southern University students, faculty and staff can help local families in need have better holidays with the Holiday Helper Tree Kick-Off on tomorrow at 10 a.m.

The Holiday Helper Tree is a program that allows individuals at GSU to give back by placing a tree in the Russell Union with tags attached with wish list items for the holiday season from those in need.

Individuals can come take a tag and then bring their donation to the Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. each day through Nov. 30.

The program will open up with a kick-off tomorrow that will feature a speech from the program’s founder Eileen Smith and a performance of two songs by students from The Statesboro Headstart, which is a federal program for low income children and families.

“This is a way for students faculty and staff to physically give back to the community during the holiday season,” Smith said.

Smith founded the program in the fall of 1994 through GSU’s Sociology and Anthropology Department, but it was later moved to the OSLCE as a chance to recruit student help and allow those students to get volunteer hours.

“Holiday Helpers are helping children have their Christmas wishes,” Ammie Hodges, center director for The Statesboro Headstart, said.

The Statesboro Headstart is just one of the many local programs and organizations that will benefit from donations this season.