USNA Midshipmen Hold 27th Annual Giving Tree Ceremony
POSTED ON: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 2:42 PM by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kaitlin Rowell
The U.S. Naval Academy and the Salvation Army held the 27th annual Giving Tree lighting ceremony Nov. 28 in the rotunda of Bancroft Hall.
Each year, midshipmen from 6th Company decorate the tree with paper angel ornaments which contain the age, gender, and gift wish list of a child in need from the greater Annapolis area.
The midshipmen, as well as faculty and staff, are encouraged to take an angel from the tree and purchase a holiday gift for the child the ornament represents.
“Putting on the Giving Tree is our spin on the Salvation Army’s angel tree initiative,” said Midshipman 1st Class Anna Paz, 6th Company commander. “So it’s an excellent opportunity for the midshipmen here to give back to the folks out in Annapolis who might not be able to provide their children with basic necessities like clothes, as well as luxury items such as a bicycle, for Christmas.”
This year, USNA is expecting to provide gifts for approximately 500 children.
“This is certainly a very personal way that you can make a difference in a child’s life here in Annapolis,” said Commandant of Midshipmen Capt. Robert Chadwick. “For most of us the holidays are a joyous time, but for many it’s a very challenging time as well. I can’t think of a more touching and moving way that you can contribute.”
Despite the fact they remain anonymous, people will spend hundreds of dollars just to ensure a stranger has a happy holiday.
“It just means so much knowing that you’re making a direct impact on a specific person,” said Midshipman 2nd Class Natalie Stahl, of 6th Company. “You’re actually picking a child and are solely responsible for giving them Christmas or things that they truly need like diapers or shoes or a coat.”
Many of the wish lists include items like electronics, musical instruments, bicycles, winter clothes and footwear.
The angels with the children's names and gift suggestions are provided by the Salvation Army. Each child is from a household where their parents or guardians do not have the extra income to provide holiday gifts.
The unwrapped donations will be placed under the Giving Tree by Dec. 11 when the Salvation Army will collect, wrap, and distribute the gifts to the children.