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Jan 09, 2018

Brookdale Giving Tree Program Donates 500 Gifts 

Brookdale Community College students and employees rallied together in support of local families this holiday season, collecting and donating 500 gifts and more than $2,000 as part of the college’s 24th annual Giving Tree program. The initiative, organized by Brookdale’s Employee Volunteer Connection (EVC) and held November 13-30, allowed students, employees, and college departments to sponsor individual children and local families who were unlikely to have gifts to open during the holidays. Participants purchased and wrapped gifts matching the ages and interests of specific local children and delivered them through a variety of local nonprofit organizations.

This year’s program supported children and families served by the Visiting Nurse Association of Central New Jersey, Family and Children’s Service of Monmouth County, St. Joseph’s Church in Keyport, and Brookdale’s Displaced Homemaker Program. Additional support was provided to the college’s new Helping Hands initiative and the Brookdale Foundation.

“I continue to be amazed every year at the outpouring of love, kindness, and generosity for this program,” said EVC member and Brookdale accounting specialist Helen Vota. “Our students and staff do not just shop for a gift; they put so much time and effort into each person and include so many nice extras and then wrap it all up so beautifully. This is a project that everyone looks forward to every year.” In total, the Giving Tree program collected and donated 400 wrapped presents and more than 100 gift cards to local children and families. Private donors also contributed funds. The initiative was co-chaired by Vota and Brookdale administrative assistant Ann Marie Alfieri.