As Shel Silverstein once wrote, “…The boy loved the tree very much… And the tree was happy.” The children’s book is titled The Giving Tree, and explains a story of the loving relationship between a boy and the tree he grew up with all of his life.
The tree was there through his many stages of life and was always wanting to give more to make the boy happy.
The holiday season is in full effect here at Springfield College, which means the season of giving. As a community, the College is all about giving back to a place that already gives us so much, and then more. That is what the Psychology Club thought as well. The club has set a Christmas tree with ornaments all over in the Richard B. Flynn Campus Union. They call this the Giving Tree.
Partnering up with with Brightside, an organization that serves many low-income families in the area who have a child/children with behavioral and mental health problems, the Psychology club is sponsoring the Giving Tree. The tree has 50 names on it for people to take.
This tree is an opportunity for people of the Springfield College community to choose a name and buy children presents for the holiday season. The ages of the children range from around 17 months old to 15 years old.
“We wanted to do a service project in the fall semester and relate it to psychology,” said Kristen DeAngelo, the Psychology Club President. “We reached out to see if there was anything we can do.”
The Giving Tree is now an annual event, and is beginning its second year. DeAngelo was surprised by the results last year, when almost all of the names were picked from the the tree in 24 hours. She hopes that the event is that successful this year.
“People want to give back,” said DeAngelo.
The Psychology Club started the preparation for the Giving Tree back in September when they began to communicate with Brightside. The names were given to the club’s students in October, and the event started on December 2.
Brightside for Families and Children is a part of Mercy Medical Center in Holyoke, Mass. Their mission is to be a “healing and transforming presence in the lives of the youth and families we serve.” With this, the presents bought for each child will be going to someone in the Greater Springfield area.
“For some families, this is all that they’re getting,” said DeAngelo. “This is an organization that helps kids with mental health problems, and our mission as a club…is to break down the mental health stigma.”
The Giving Tree will be up until December 12, 2014, and an ornament can be grabbed by any person in the Springfield College community. The tree can be found in the Union lobby.