Giving Tree is one of the charity events held at OES around Thanksgiving Break and Christmas every year. All parts of OES: US, MS, and LS, faculty and students, combine their power together and help the families in the Beaverton District get warm Christmas gifts. It is a great project run by SLAC and AASK, where people have the opportunity to use their power for good.
OES has been doing Giving Tree annually for 15 years. Every year, we receive requests from about 25 to 28 families that cannot afford Christmas from the third organization–– Whitford Middle School as this year, and the students in SLAC are in charge of running the project. The families are selected by the teachers in the school, but that is not the only process–– then the families have to draw lotteries to see if they can actually receive help from the Giving Tree program. Not only Oregon Episcopal School, but also the two Episcopal churches–St. John Chapel and Grace Memorial Church are also contributing into this great charity.
SLAC usually starts to arrange the whole program two weeks before Thanksgiving Break. There is a huge tree in the main lobby as well as a mock one in MST before conferences; additionally, colorful tags with different shapes will be found on that tree–– with the requests from the families highlighted on them. Each shape and each color will represent one family. You will realize that they are asking for basic and essential things, such as socks, jackets, or toys. When the parents are asked about the gifts they want for Christmas, they always reply by saying something like “No, no, I am fine. Please send a warm jacket to my kid.” They love their kids, and they are wishing for a warm Christmas just as much as we are. If you have helped delivering the gifts to people’s houses, you will be able to see how grateful people are to us and how big of a difference our small contribution will bring them.
As Myra Clark, the Director of AASK Program, said, “The need is great, and we are just doing our part.” The Giving Tree has already become a tradition of OES. We receive a little help from everyone, and we end up making a big difference.