WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Dec. 21, 2021 — The West Liberty University Christmas Wish Tree is a tradition of sharing that represents the good will found on the Hilltop.
“Our custom of the Wish Tree continues to remind us of the importance of sharing our gifts with others. We are truly grateful to all faculty, staff and students who came forward this year to purchase and give gifts to children in need,” said Rhonda McCullough, administrative assistant for the Health Sciences clinics.
The outreach has gone on for 31 years, according to McCullough and she’s coordinated the effort all of that time. And though the tree is an artificial one, the sentiment is real.
“Our employees are always generous and I’m happy to do this task each holiday season. Once again we sponsored three different community non-profits — Crittenton Services, Children’s Home of Wheeling, and St. John’s Home for Children,” McCullough said.
The tree is always displayed in the Enrollment Services Center, located in Shaw Hall, for about a month. A total of 49 tags were on the tree and each were taken by faculty, staff and students quickly. Each gift purchased was worth between $25 –$30. Each tag had a child’s name and personal Christmas wish printed on it. Participants then purchased the gift, placed it in a gift bag or box, and returned the tag and gift to the Enrollment Center.
For those who preferred to give cash, McCullough and her helpers saw that gifts were purchased with the money.
In addition, after all of the tags were taken, McCullough received an additional $30 donation that was given to St. John’s Children’s Home this year.
“Each of the non-profits are so grateful for this outreach. They tell us how meaningful it is that West Liberty University steps up every year to support them and how much it means to the children in their care to have gifts to open,” she said.
The gift drive took place from Nov. 16 – Dec. 9 and all gifts were delivered to the non-profits not long afterwards.
“I thank everyone who took time to join in this holiday tradition. I can assure you that it means a lot to these children and the non-profits caring for them,” she said.