WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Dec. 19, 2016 — West Liberty University continues its Christmas Wish Tree tradition with a successful gift drive to brighten Christmas morning.
Students, faculty, staff and administration contributed to the giant effort to help children in need. This year WLU is supporting the Children’s Home of Wheeling, St. John’s Children’s Home and Crittenton Services.
From Nov. 17 – Dec. 5, participants were able to pick an ornament from the wish tree containing a child’s name and Christmas wish on it. Participants then purchased a gift of $20 value and returned it to WLU Enrollment Services Center. Those unable to buy a gift on time were invited to give monetary donations.
Seventy-nine gifts were purchased, valued at $1,580.
“It’s not the dollar value that matters, it’s a chance for West Liberty University to support our community, the children in it and the wonderful public service organizations that daily enhance children’s lives. We are grateful to have this opportunity to share our gifts with others,” said Rhonda Tysk, admissions counselor who has worked at West Liberty for 27 years.
Special meaning was attached to the Wish Tree this year, as it is a reminder of the hard work and kindness of former financial aid employee Beth Salatino, who passed away suddenly last year, in November.
“Beth loved the Wish Tree project and was instrumental in its many years of success. We miss her helpfulness and positive outlook daily in enrollment services but we are pleased to recall her work at Christmas and thank everyone for getting involved in the 2016 Wish Tree effort,” Tysk added.
“It makes it even more special this year because we are not only helping children in need, but we are honoring Beth by continuing this tradition that was so special to her.” Tysk and Salatino organized the annual program for the past 26 years.
Tysk was happy to deliver the gifts to the three public organizations about a week ago.
“We are so grateful to the many employees who get involved in making the Wish Tree real.”
West Liberty University is a forward-looking, four-year public university steeped in a rich heritage as West Virginia’s oldest institution of higher education and offering nearly 70 undergraduate majors and 30 programs. Graduate programs include the Master of Arts in Education, the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, the Master of Professional Studies, the Master of Science in Criminology and the online MBA degrees. For more information on WLU, please call 1.866.WESTLIB or visit westliberty.edu.