Project Angel Tree enlists the community to help the less fortunate


Gabby Lancaster

The annual Project Angel Tree, hosted by Students Concerned for the Needy, is an event that takes place throughout December to inspire the community to give back. Students and faculty are given a list of names of needy children, their age, and what gifts they want.  After being assigned a child, volunteers buy their gifts and SCN delivers them to the families.
“Unfortunately, you’ve probably heard the statistic that 20 percent of people are doing 80 percent of the work when it comes to charity, which means there’s a very small amount of people doing a lot of work,” Robert Stevens, English teacher at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School and SCN advisor, said.  “There are people that are struggling to get out of some of the outlying areas to a place like Scotch Plains. So I always feel if we have why aren’t we giving more?”
SCN has been encouraging the season of giving back since they first started Project Angel Tree 17 years ago. This is not the only charitable event that SCN has promoted, but it is one of their most popular.
“It’s not just about these 88 kids who are getting help. It’s about all of the kids in all of the classes who pitch in two dollars, who’s going shopping and who’s wrapping. So it could end up being 200-300 people who get involved either indirectly or directly,” Stevens said.
Although it may not seem like much, the benefit of giving back to the community is unparalleled. The holiday season inspires good deeds and SCN makes it easy to participate.  
“If they feel cared for and loved and like somebody is looking out for them, it just adds hope and inspiration,” Stevens said. “They keep going, it gives them one more reason to keep going one more day, to keep fighting so then one day they’ll be in a position to do the same thing.”  
SCN hosts numerous activities like Project Angel Tree that the whole community can partake in throughout the year, like toy, food, and clothing drives.