With the arrival of the winter holidays, the Shepherd Union Building is decking the halls with Christmas trees large and small.
Among the most important of these trees is the Angel Tree, which is sponsored in part by the Community Involvement Center and the Salvation Army. This tree was a collaborative effort put together by Laura Preece, the special service and events chair of the Volunteer Involvement Program.
According to Mike Moon, the assistant director of the CIC, the Angel Tree has a record of 250 angels, which represents 250 youth in the community who are going to be sponsored for Christmas. The Salvation Army provides the paper angels, but the Shepherd Union Building offers the tree and additional decorations that supplement the angels.
“We like this partnership because the Salvation Army takes care of the logistics of that program, then they select the families, then they provide angels for the tree to us,” Moon said. “So a student would pull an angel off the tree, they would sign their information on the registry, which is on a table next to the tree, and then they bring the gifts.”
So far, the CIC has only received three gifts, although the registry next to the tree shows seven individuals have signed up. The gifts must be new and unwrapped, and taken to the CIC before or on Dec. 12. Moon said the Angel Tree project is open to anyone willing to participate, including students, community members, faculty and staff.
The CIC is also participating, alongside Sub for Santa and the Women’s Center, in the Christmas Tree Bridge program. The CIC purchased 25 4-foot trees that different departments, clubs and organizations around campus decorated. The trees and all of their decorations will be donated to the Sub for Santa program in the Women’s Center, then on to YCC. There was a contest this year to see which club or organization would decorate the best tree.
“The most creative tree the judges have determined to be the Stewart Library tree,” Moon said. “The best-decorated tree the judges have determined to be the Multicultural Student Center.”
The library tree featured gifts worked into the decoration elements of the tree. Sock monkeys, toy dinosaurs, crayons, and little paper books were just some of the components that secured the Most Creative Tree prize. The Multicultural Student Center tree was decorated with traditional ornaments and garlands.
“We’re a library. We like people to read. And so what we wanted to do was sort of give an idea of the adventure of reading, but we also wanted a tree that was appropriate for children,” said Kathy Payne, the head of reference in the Stewart Library. “We put the presents in the tree, some of them. But basically, it was something that both gave the idea of adventures, but something the family could enjoy.”
According to Payne, Fran Zedney, the evening reference professional, did most of the work on the library tree. Payne and Lana Rivera did the shopping, and Zedney did the decorating. Payne said the date sneaked up on her and that, from planning to end, the tree took two days.
“Next year we’ll do a better job,” Payne said. “This was our first year.”
Owen Tipa, an automotive technology sophomore, said it was also the Multicultural Student Center’s first year participating.
“Everyone in the department helped out and brought the decorating stuff,” Tipa said, “all of us that were available, and we made time to decorate the tree.”
The Christmas trees will be displayed on the mezzanine bridge of the Shepherd Union Building until Dec. 17.