WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Dec. 10, 2018 — West Liberty University Christmas Wish Tree is a tradition that spreads joy to area non-profits.
“The faculty, staff and students get involved every November and December to make this annual giving tree a reality. Providing gifts for children in need is what it’s all about and we look forward to sharing with our community at the holidays,” said Rhonda Tysk, senior admissions counselor.
The outreach has gone on for about 30 years now, according to Tysk.
“Like many previous years, this year we are supporting the Children’s Home of Wheeling, St. John’s Children’s Home, and the Crittenton Services, non-profits that make our community a more giving place everyday — not just during the holidays,” she said.
The tree was displayed in the Enrollment Services Center, located in Shaw Hall, for about three weeks. Those who contributed provided 71 gifts for children, each worth between $25 –$30.
“Our students even get involved and donate after picking a tag from the tree. Everyone’s happy to make a child’s wish come true,” she said.
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.
Participants also were encouraged to make a monetary donation rather than shop for a gift, if they preferred. This money will be divided among the three organizations, according to Tysk.
“We thank everyone for keeping the WLU Christmas Wish Tree alive this season,” said Tysk.
Also displayed by the Wish Tree this year was a special thank-you artwork provided by the St. John’s Children’s Home. The canvas artwork was created by incorporating 12 children’s thumbprints on an image of a “tree of life” to create a personal image of gratitude.
“We received this last year as a thank-you and found it very touching,” Tysk added.