Sunday, July 12

Brookdale Newsroom

Brookdale Giving Trees Collect 700 Gifts

Brookdale students and employees helped distribute more than 700 holiday presents and gift cards to local families this season as part of the college’s annual 22nd annual Giving Tree program.

The program, hosted by Brookdale’s Employee Volunteer Connection (EVC), allows Brookdalians to buy needed gifts for underprivileged children and families in Monmouth County.

Every November EVC members set up holiday trees across the Lincroft and Freehold campuses, each of which contain cards listing the age, gender and interests of local children who are unlikely to have gifts to open this holiday season.

Employees and students can take a card representing an individual child or an entire family, spending as little or as much as they want on toys, gift cards, clothes or other gifts. While the response is always overwhelming, EVC member Helen Vota said this year’s Giving Tree initiative was one of the most successful in recent memory.

“It’s very heartwarming to see,” said Vota, who first established the program at Brookdale in the 1990’s. “And it’s good for the community to see. It shows them that people really care. And we do. We do care.”

The presents are delivered to families by local outreach and support organizations like the Visiting Nurse Association of Central New Jersey and Family and Children’s Services.

The Giving Tree program is just one of many community service initiatives sponsored by the EVC each year.

To learn more or to get involved, contact Helen Vota.