Consider donating to LASD’s The Giving Tree

November 21, 2023

Consider donating to LASD Giving Tree

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Dear Editor:

School staff members are often some of the first to identify the needs of area families. Through their daily interactions with students and their caretakers, teachers, staff and administrators become aware of how uneven the playing field can be for our young learners. These needs and the inequities become especially apparent during the holiday season.

In response to those needs, school counselors are continuously working to connect families with means of support. Recognizing the need for more sources of support, Ludington Area Schools started a program called The Giving Tree in order to assist a greater number of people during the holidays. Each school building ran its own program in a variety of ways, including putting tags on trees during parent teacher conferences. Those tags identified items to be purchased and families then committed to buy and send in the items. This required hours of time on the part of school staff, including contacting families to get sizes, etc., and organizing the collection and distribution. A change in the parent-teacher conference schedule and COVID no longer made this an effective way to best meet families’ needs.

For the past five years, the program has relied on monetary donations. These donations allow families to attend a shopping event during the holiday season and the use of a gift card. This gives them the ability to choose items that best meet their own needs, and prevents repetition of services from various school buildings.

This year, a group was created to spearhead fundraising efforts in hopes of eventually making this a self sustaining project. Throughout the year, we have created and sold a variety of items, including a community cookbook and an annual ornament. However, we are just getting started, and the need is great.

This year, 90 families are in need of our support. Our annual shopping event is rapidly approaching and we still need $5,000 more in order to provide for all. We are reaching out to our generous community to help us meet our goal. To donate, you may go to lasd.net and follow the link to The Oriole Giving Tree project, or mail donations to LASD/Oriole Giving Tree at 809 E. TInkham Ave., Ludington, MI 49431.

Once our goal is met, any additional funds collected will go toward supporting families in the years to come.

Thank you for helping our Orioles and their families continue to soar.

On behalf of The Oriole Giving Tree Project,

Heidi Urka

Ludington

 

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