The giving spirit that comes with the holidays is quickly approaching. Freshman Class Council is hosting the annual Christmas tree farm to raise money for philanthropies and donate Christmas trees to families in need. The fundraising event will be open to the public at 6 p.m. on Thursday during Baylor University’s Christmas on 5th tradition.
Any student led organization has the chance to compete with other organizations on campus in a Christmas tree decorating contest. The cost to enter is $80. The winner receives the proceeds to donate to a philanthropy of their choice.
“Not only is it wonderful to have the fun Christmas tree farm on Christmas on 5th and be able to see all of the creativity, but the main thing is that it does raise money for a philanthropy and we get to donate the trees to Restoration Haven, which is going to be able to provide those families with an actual Christmas tree,” said Baton Rouge, LA senior Patrick Van Burkleo, co-director of Freshman Class Council.
Each year, the Freshman Class Council chooses an organization for a partnership to donate the decorated trees. The trees this year will be donated to families in need courtesy of Restoration Haven.
After student organizations decorate their Christmas trees, the tree farm will be open to the public. A group of judges consisting of freshman students in Freshman Class Council will announce the winner.
“Our main goal is to give these freshmen the opportunity to be people of influence on campus,” Van Burkleo said. “It’s a great way to get these freshman plugged in, and it’s a really cool opportunity for our freshman to decide the winner of the contest.”
Alpha Chi Omega is one of the student organizations participating this year representing the Waco Family Abuse Center. Memphis, TN senior Meghan Bell is participating with her organization for the first time this year.
“Christmas tree farm is a great way to help out the local community through donating the trees and decorations to families in need and getting to have fun with friends and participate in Christmas on 5th at the same time,” Bell said.
Previous winners of the tree farm include Zeta Tau Alpha, Beta Theta Pi, North Russell Residence Hall and Collins Residence Hall. Last year, Collins donated $1,000 to Shepherd’s Heart, a local food pantry, and 22 Christmas trees to the Salvation Army.
“Other organizations should definitely participate because it is one of the most fun ways to get involved with one of the biggest Baylor traditions while also helping out those in need,” Bell said.
Today is the last day to register for the Freshman Class Council Christmas tree farm. The online form is available on the FCC student activities website.
“We encourage groups to be creative with their designs and view this as a fun competition,” said Meredith Walkup, coordinator of student organizations and leader development at Baylor. “Plus, even if your organization doesn’t win, you are still able to give back through the purchase of a tree.”
For more information on the Christmas tree farm
contact Patrick Van Burkelo at Patrick_Van_Burkleo@baylor.edu.