Special Feature – 2020 Annual Giving Tree
Written by Angela Blackington
In this season of giving, many companies, social groups, families, and organizations search for a cause that can identify with their core values and create an opportunity to improve the lives of those around them. Each year, MOUNTAIN partners with a social worker who connects us with young adults that may be experiencing hardships to situations of domestic violence, substance abuse, or law enforcement intervention with the adults in their lives. Some of these youth are homeless or staying in unstable situations. The social worker selects individuals who are working towards their GED for the MOUNTAIN giving tree.
MOUNTAIN receives a background of who these young people are, what they have accomplished, and what drives them to want to succeed when life becomes hard. Their small list of 15 items is added to our office holiday tree in the shape of an ornament, and MOUNTAINeers scramble to select items they most connect with. Request for laundry supplies, socks, undergarments, gift cards for local grocery stores, and a few things that make them feel like a typical teen are chosen. During the holiday celebration in the office, a “Wrap Party” is hosted with holiday paper, bows, and name tags; music plays and MOUNTAINeers join in creating beautiful packages for delivery.
MOUNTAINeers give back throughout the year to the communities surrounding them, but as the year passes and the next list of names arrives; we all anxiously read over the success of those we had assisted the previous Christmas. As the next set of ornaments are added to the tree, we know another branch of new growth has started, and it will be strong and reach high like the ones before it. A simple seed of kindness can change a life, so we hope that over time, the seeds that MOUNTAINeers plant can create a forest of change with some of our outreach efforts. Thank you to everyone in the office that brought in items and sponsoring a young person to share in a little extra joy during this season.
Our “Wrap Party” took place on December 17th, 2019
Here are some photos from this year’s giving tree!