The Giving Tree
Branching from an off-hand comment in his Development Office interview, over the past month lower sixth student, Elijah Nix, has brought the Bishop Vesey’s Giving Tree to life.
Delivering gifts to City Mission and St Basil's
It all started back in November, when after a few conversations and meetings the Gracechurch Shopping Centre, Sutton Coldfield, gave the initiative the go ahead. A few days later, Elijah and several other members of the Development Office decorated the six-foot tree in the centre of the Gracechurch Centre. The idea being that the public would take a label, go and buy the gift written on it and then return it back to the tree, and what a success it has been!
Over the past month, the tree has been manned everyday by volunteers from across the lower sixth at Bishop Vesey’s. They have collected gifts and engaged passers-by in their cause. Behind the scenes, members of the Development Office have worked tirelessly to sort and wrap all the gifts.
Overall, over 1000 gifts were donated, with presents including children’s books and soft toys, toothbrushes and toothpaste, hats, scarves, gloves and blankets. The gifts have been divided between three charities: St Basil’s, Birmingham City Mission and YMCA Sutton Coldfield, and two primary schools in the area who asked for specific donations.
On Monday 16th December, Elijah Nix, Beth Winterbottom, Pierce O’Reilly-Spears and Jack Lees delivered the presents to the charities and primary schools. Meeting people who work with those in need really struck a chord with the students and they fully understood what their work meant to all those that would benefit.
The Giving Tree team would like to thank all the students that volunteered to make Elijah’s dream a reality, Mr Davies and Claire in the Development Office and also the organisations they donated to for allowing them to be a part of making some people’s Christmas a little brighter. A final thank you must go to the Gracechurch Centre and the public who gave gifts to the tree, because without them it would not have been possible. Hopefully the Development Office can build on this wonderful idea and continue the Giving Tree next year.