Lakewood High School gives back this holiday season

Lakewood High School is partnering with Lakewood Elementary school yet again for the annual giving tree event.



National Honor Society sponsor Heather Robinson poses with the giving tree. The giving Christmas tree is a tree about giving presents to the kids who can’t get one on Christmas day. Heather Robinson is the one who came up with the idea “It’s a great way is to give back to the community,” Robinson said.

JULES EAST, SNN Staff Writer 

As we all know, the holidays are a time for giving back to the community. Lakewood High School is a firm believer in this principle, so much so that they have decided to bring back the giving tree for another year.

The giving tree is a Christmas tree that is decorated with little slips of paper that have gift donations written on them. These donations will be given to children at Lakewood Elementary School.  

The National Honor Society (NHS) has been coordinating the giving tree for the past 3 years. NHS sponsor Heather Robinson started the idea of the giving tree, and it has been a popular activity at Lakewood High School. Robinson has been in contact with a social worker, Kari Chin, at Lakewood Elementary School to put the giving tree together. 

The only year that the giving tree was not available was when all schools were shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The giving tree has surpassed many people’s expectations. Last year 10 bikes and 9-10 scooters were given away as gifts, and they were able to sponsor gifts for 35 students. The gifts that are donated are not generalized; the gifts go to a specific student that asked for those specific items.  

The giving tree does not only affect the children that receive them, but also greatly affects the volunteers that distribute the gifts.  

“They (NHS members) feel really good about it. They love wrapping gifts because that is part of what we do. The gifts come to us unwrapped. As a club we wrap all the gifts, and the students really take ownership of that. Then we take whoever has trucks, we borrow their trucks, and we deliver them to the school and that definitely has an impact on the students,” Robinson said.

Unfortunately, they do not get to meet the children that receive the gifts, but sometimes parents will send pictures of the children opening the gifts. Those pictures bring Chin, Robinson, and all the volunteers a lot of joy. 

The children and parents that receive the gifts are extremely grateful. The giving tree allows parents that are struggling to still be able to give their children a good holiday.  

“Some of the parent’s hugs upon receiving the gifts are memorable.  Some cry tears of joy/relief.  It is always fun to give away a bike or scooter!  They see me as the person making this happen.  I must make sure to relay that the Lakewood HS National Honor Society and associated partners/staff at Lakewood HS provided our school with this partnership,” Chin said.

Some of the most inspiring volunteers are 2D art teacher Sandra Bourne and her mother. Bourne and her mother chose several children to donate to and spend on average $100 on each kid. Last year, they bought four bikes. 

Instead of spending money on each other, Bourne and her mother spend their Christmas money on donations for the kids. 

“So instead of giving my mother a present, my mother and I go buy presents for these kids and that’s my Christmas present to my mother is the giving tree, and her present to me is the giving tree,” Bourne said.

They say it makes them feel very happy that they can provide a wonderful holiday for children in need, and that’s something all those who gift to the giving tree can agree on.