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HCC to Wrap Up 19th Annual Giving-tree Campaign Today

HOLYOKE — Members of the Holyoke Community College (HCC) community will help spread some holiday cheer today, Dec. 13, as they deliver piles of wrapped, donated gifts to representatives from five local charities at the closing reception for the college’s 19th annual giving-tree campaign.

This year, the HCC community fulfilled the holiday wishes of a record 400 clients from Homework House, WestMass ElderCare, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, and — for the first time — Enlace de Familias, the Holyoke agency that has been working closely with Puerto Rican refugees who left the island last year after Hurricane Maria. 

The Giving Tree closing reception will begin at 10 a.m. in the PeoplesBank Conference Center on the third floor of Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development on the main HCC campus, 303 Homestead Ave.

“This is an amazing tradition and always brings out the best of HCC,” said President Christina Royal. “Last year was my first to partake in the giving-tree experience, and I was really blown away by the generosity of our community here at the college.”

Each year during the annual campaign, giving trees are set up in designated areas around campus. Participants choose colored-coded tags from one of the nonprofit agencies based on the age of the recipient and their wish for a gift. The wrapped gifts are then piled on tables for the closing celebration, when HCC faculty, staff, and students join with representatives from the agencies to distribute the gifts and share food and stories.

Past giving-tree closing ceremonies were held in the smaller board of trustees conference room in the Frost Building. “We’ve outgrown the room we’ve been using all these years,” said Gail Golas, chair of the HCC giving-tree committee.

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