By Mindy Wang, Joyce Lu, and JingXi Yap
The feeling of opening gifts on Christmas Day is one that many of us are familiar with. Yet many migrant children all around China don’t necessarily get that chance. This year, our team is pairing with The Community Center to reignite The Giving Tree: a project which aims to spread Christmas joy to migrant children in Shanghai.
The Community Center is an organization that aims to connect, support and enable the international community in Shanghai. One way they achieve this is through charity initiatives, which provide the community rewarding and memorable opportunities to give and serve. Among these charity initiatives is an initiative called The Giving Tree, which donates bags filled with necessities and little toys to young migrant children. This year, our team is working together with The Community Center to increase Concordia’s community involvement with the project, to get not only more donations, but also the packing and gifting of these bags.
During COVID-19, Concordia was still lucky enough to participate in the Giving Tree, with the school donating the money for 200 bags. However, this differs from our involvement in the past, where students, parents, and faculty would be personally responsible for donating a bag, and had the opportunity to hand-deliver bags to migrant students in December. In particular, during the 2018-2019 school year, students and teachers raised a total of 550 bags!
This year, we have set the goal of 300 student and teacher funded bags. The materials inside the bags will be provided by the Community Center, but students have the opportunity to package the bags in a stapling party we plan to host in November. In December, students can also partake in a unique trip to a public school in rural Shanghai to deliver the bags. To reach our goals, we hope to involve all four divisions of our community, to bring warmth and smiles to the migrant students.
If you feel inspired to participate in this initiative, the Giving Tree opened to donations this past Monday, November 1st, with each bag only costing 275 rmb. After the Community Center purchases the gift items, you can also volunteer at the Bag Stapling Party, where all the Christmas bags will be packaged. Lastly, you can also sign up to personally deliver the bags to the migrant children and interacting with the children in Shanghai's rural areas.
About the Giving Tree:
Concordia has a long standing practice of partnering with the Shanghai Community Center (an organization that Concordia founded 20 years ago), in their annual Giving Tree program. The program provides warm coats, school supplies, gifts, and other necessities to migrant children in the greater Shanghai area.