Chemeketa Courier

Give a gift to help children in need

By Devin Swift

The Salvation Army and Chemeketa are teaming up through Dec. 9 to help make this holiday season a little brighter for area children.

“The Tree of Giving gives students and staff the ability to give back to children who may not be able to celebrate the holidays with even a single toy,” Peter Starr said. He is Chemeketa’s community service, service learning, and civic engagement coordinator.

The Christmas Angel program, otherwise known as the Tree of Giving on campus, collects gifts for needy youngsters in the Marion and Polk counties.

“In a time of economic crisis like we are currently experiencing, the reliance on projects like Tree of Giving by those in need grows tremendously, making it all that much more important for those who are able to give what they can,” Starr said.

The trees are located in Bldg. 2. The trees have tags with a child’s age and gender. You can then purchase a gift based on the information on the tag and bring it back to the Student Retention and College Life Office.

The gifts, along with the tag, should be unwrapped and returned by Dec. 22. The coordinators of the event ask that no one bring candy or toy weapons.

“The holidays are a stressful time, and we can easily put a smile on a kid by doing minor things. It’s important to acknowledge that even something that may seem insignificant can make a big difference,” Manuel Guerra, the director of Student Retention and College Life, said.

For questions about the Tree of Giving, contact Starr at or the Associated Students of Chemeketa at