First Christmas tree sighting of the season at GSU for a good cause

STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - We may have the first tree sighting of the Christmas season at Georgia Southern University.

But the decorations on this one comes off as the season gets closer, all to help those less fortunate.

GSU students, faculty, and staff have been using the tree to help others for the past 24 years.

It might be the first Christmas carol of the season as little ones from Statesboro Head Start helped celebrate the Holiday Helpers' tree. Folks on campus pick up a tag with the description and gift request of those in need.

Organizers work with more than a dozen local agencies to identify who needs help. It serves as a reminder that the holidays aren't necessarily jolly for everyone.

"Students suddenly get a realization that there is a need out in the community and the response from all our campus people is just tremendous," said Eileen Smith, a founder.

Take a look at last year's results as volunteers sorted the gifts for delivery. Smith says they're poised to help nearly 900 people this year.

"Usually, every tag put on that tree to represent somebody in this community is taken and a gift or more than one gift is returned," Smith said.

It starts by picking out a tag and registering it before you leave.

They have until November 27 to return in gifts for those tags.

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