The Tree That Keeps on Giving

November 28, 2016

Culture, News

Photo by Max De Jong -- Freshman Skyler Stanford takes a gingerbread man off of the Giving Tree.

Photo by Max De Jong — Freshman Skyler Stanford takes a gingerbread man off of the Giving Tree.

By Max De Jong

A tree stands proudly in the lobby of the ASK Academy; it gleams and shines with lights and ornaments. The Giving Tree has become a symbol of joy during the holiday season, and has made Christmas just a little bit brighter for some scholars.

It all started seven years ago; as the Christmas season was approaching, one of the founders of the ASK Academy, Daniel Barbour, wanted to contribute to the holiday spirit. “The giving tree is our ASK community’s way of helping take care of scholars and their families,” he said. Over the years, The Giving Tree has made an impact on the scholars at ASK. The Giving Tree provides an opportunity for ASK families to donate gift cards to anonymous scholars during this holiday season. The cards are distributed during the week of finals.

Mary Lou Lopez, ASK Academy’s administrative assistant, says that the Giving Tree is an important part of the ASK family, and remembers a specific scholar from 2012.“One of our scholars, a senior, received a gift; it was headphones.” Lopez began to tear up as she remembered the story, “He was so, so, happy, he said that the ASK Academy was awesome and he had tears in his eyes.”

The Giving Tree has brought a little more generosity to the scholars of ASK, “I was actually really happy, I felt special, as if I were recognized.” said Sydney Berzi, a senior at the ASK Academy. “Being here, there are so many special, talented people, so getting a gift from the Giving Tree, makes you feel unique and important.”

Some scholars were even moved enough to want to donate to The Giving Tree themselves, “I plan on contributing to The giving Tree,” said senior Matthew Heaton.

For families and scholars interested in donating to The Giving Tree, contact Mary Lou Lopez at The ASK Academy’s front office. The tree is already up and the deadline to donate will be December 8.

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