The University of Connecticut bookstore and the Catholic Charities of Norwich are working together to help provide low-income children with gifts this holiday season, according to an announcement on the UConn Techshop website.
The Giving Tree, located in the UConn Bookstore, holds ornaments representing underprivileged children or teens that visitors can sponsor with a gift for the holiday season.
“This year we are looking for sponsorship for 60 kids and teens, ranging in age from two months to 17 years,” Jen Amedy, assistant manager of the UConn Bookstore, said in an email. “So far ten of them have been ‘adopted’.”
This is the university’s second year participating in the Giving Tree, according to Amedy.
“I used to work at a university that had a giving tree, and I would ‘adopt’ a child every year. My first couple years at UConn, I missed doing that during the holidays, so I figured I might as well see if I could make it happen here as well,” Amedy said. “Last year we had a great response, and I’m still overwhelmed at the amount of gifts the UConn community provided for these kids!”
Amedy has even figured out ways for those to get involved who might be hesitant to return to campus right now in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and she asks those interested in contributing from home to email her directly.
Options to participate virtually may include either shopping online for their Giving Tree gifts, and then having those online purchases sent to the store. Or, participants can send a check directly to the bookstore for organizers to do the shopping for them.
The UConn Bookstore will also be donating $200 to the charity as well.
“I think it’s great for people to participate because it feels good to help support the underprivileged in the community. Every kid deserves to get gifts during the holiday season, and this year especially, there is so much need,” Amedy said. “So many people are out of work and struggling. It’s nice to be able to help them make sure their kids aren’t being left out at this time of year.”
Those contributing gifts in person should plan to drop off the presents to the bookstore by Dec. 7 or 8.
“Catholic Charities will be picking up the gifts from the UConn Bookstore in mid-December, giving them plenty of time to distribute to the recipients before Christmas,” Amedy said.