Give-a-Gift Campaign in Full Swing for Holiday Season


Jacob VanOoyen, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Give-a-Gift is a beloved Notre Dame Christmas tradition that started over a decade ago. It originally started with a physical tree in the atrium where people would fulfill tags posted on the tree.

Give-a-Gift is a Christmas outreach project in which Notre Dame students, staff and families buy Christmas presents for those who are struggling during the holiday season. 

 “We’ve had such appreciative families. We’ve seen a lot of joyful tears, we’ve heard stories of struggles and how much this helps their families and we’ve received adorable cards made by the families and kids who receive our gifts” said Gina Fredrick, Student Government adviser who heads up the event.

 With hundreds of gifts being given out each year, this is no small task. In  previous years Student Government members wrapped the gifts, but that has changed for this year. 

“We’ve transformed Room 101 into ‘Santa’s Workshop’ and will have open hours during the day in the next couple weeks to provide students and employees the opportunity to get in the holiday spirit and help when they can,” said Fredrick.

Room 101 is Mrs. Laaksonen’s or “Frau’s” room and is located near the main office. It is open 2nd, 4th, 5th and 7th periods during the day. 

The Give-a-Gift project started the last week of October by reaching out to find the families and will extend until final exam week when the gifts will be given.

“Previously, families would pick up their gifts after hours here at school. As of last year, we started delivering them right to their homes. It allowed us to help even more by receiving a delivery time schedule from them that works best with their schedule, whether it’s mid-day or in the evening. That also allows some gifts to be hidden from view of their kids until Christmas morning,” explained Fredrick. 

The outreach campaign coincides with the time of year when students can become stressed from exams and the semester’s ending. 

“Does it not provide a perfect option for students to de-stress?” asked one teacher.  

“It has grown so much and we wanted to reach our families at home for help as well that it now is virtual, which allows wish lists to be shared and the impact to be so much greater for these families. It’s my favorite project of the year, that’s for sure,” said Fredrick.