Giving trees bring holiday cheer to Ridgefield families


The Giving Tree is a holiday tradition in Ridgefield schools, providing gifts for local families in need

Storing hundreds of brightly-wrapped gifts can be a challenge, especially in elementary schools where storage space is at a premium. But it’s well worth a little shuffling and creative use of space to make room for gifts that have been donated for families through Ridgefield schools’ annual Giving Tree programs. 

Each tag shows a child’s gift request for the holidays. Photo courtesy Ridgefield School District
Each tag shows a child’s gift request for the holidays. Photo courtesy Ridgefield School District

The Giving Tree is a holiday tradition in Ridgefield schools, providing gifts for local families in need. Thanks to the generosity of the Ridgefield community, each school collected hundreds of donations that will help make spirits bright this holiday season. 

Families that need assistance buying gifts for their school-age children are identified by the Ridgefield Family Resource Center and school counselors. The families are asked what their children want for gifts. Then, parent-teacher organizations create gift tags showing each gift request, along with the child’s gender and grade.

The Ridge Parent-Teacher Organization decorated the Giving Trees at View Ridge Middle School and Sunset Ridge Intermediate School. Photo courtesy Ridgefield School District
The Ridge Parent-Teacher Organization decorated the Giving Trees at View Ridge Middle School and Sunset Ridge Intermediate School. Photo courtesy Ridgefield School District

The tags are hung on each school’s Giving Tree, where donors select a gift or gifts to shop for.  Donors have a few weeks to purchase the requested gifts and drop them off at the school. Once received, volunteers spend hours sorting and matching the gifts and tags to their database. Finally, the presents are stored away until they can be delivered to families before the holidays.

Staff sometimes have to get creative to find a hiding place away from the students’ curious eyes. So for the holiday season, storage closets might have a pile of presents locked away, or an office desk might be filled with gift bags. But it’s worth all the effort when families receive their presents in time for the holidays. The Giving Tree helps ensure a happy holiday for all the families in the Ridgefield School District.

Gifts for the Giving Tree are tucked into every unused corner at Union Ridge Elementary School, where storage space is limited. Photo courtesy Ridgefield School District
Gifts for the Giving Tree are tucked into every unused corner at Union Ridge Elementary School, where storage space is limited. Photo courtesy Ridgefield School District

In this season of giving, even small donations can make a big difference. While the Giving Tree project is drawing to a close for this year, there are other ways you can help:

  • Monetary donations to the Ridgefield Family Resource Center help families in the Ridgefield School District with food and other necessary items. You can mail checks or money orders, made out to Ridgefield School District with RFRC in the memo line, to: Ridgefield Family Resource Center, 510 Pioneer Street, Ridgefield, WA 98642.
     
  • The Ridgefield Food Project (also known as the Green Bag Project) makes it easy to donate food to the Ridgefield Family Resource Center and Neighbors Helping Neighbors. To participate, fill a paper grocery bag with non-perishable food items. Then every two months, they schedule a Saturday to come pick the bag up from your doorstep. To sign up for the project, email Bill Baumann at RidgefieldFoodProject@gmail.com or fill out the form at https://clarkfoodproject.org/79-2/
     
  • The Ridgefield Lions support online donations to the Ridgefield Neighbors Food Project or to the Ridgefield Lions General Fund for community service at https://ridgefieldlions.square.site/. A $2.50 service fee helps cover credit card fees.

The Giving Tree and other donations are an easy way to make the holidays happier for families in need. Many thanks to the Ridgefield community for its generosity and holiday spirit.

Information provided by Ridgefield School District.

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