HB gives back — The giving tree


Grace Santoski

Seven remaining mittens hang from the wall. The donor was to purchase the desired gift and turn it into the front office by December 13.

Grace Santoski, Staff Writer

The Giving Tree has been an HB tradition for several years. Typically, there is a Christmas tree with paper mittens attached on display in the main office; however, this year the mittens had to be taped onto the wall. Each mitten has a name of a local child in need and what a local child would like for Christmas. Students, faculty, and others in the community who would like to help this holiday season were encouraged to take a mitten and drop the gift off back in the office. Hollis Brookline always aims to give back to the community, especially during the holiday season.

Grace Santoski
Presents are lined up to be sent to children in and around the community. Each child put their age and desired present on a mitten hanging in the front office.

Rebecca Balfour, a history teacher at HBHS, is deeply involved in the Giving Tree project. Balfour’s reason for being such an active participant has roots in her “humble upbringing”; growing up  in a family of five kids, they often relied on the kindness of strangers. “It feels very cathartic to be the giver,” she said. This life-changing generosity makes people like Balfour want to give the kindness they have received back to the world.

“This season is about giving and I like being a part of that,” said Zoe Bertone ‘17 “It feels good to give and makes it more of a celebration.” Bertone thinks that everyone can benefit from The Giving Tree, whether it’s giving a gift to someone who can’t afford it or receiving one of the generous gifts.

The Hollis Brookline Community Facebook page has been one of the core reasons for the Giving Tree’s success this year. When news spread that HBHS was doing something for children in need, almost all of the mittens were taken in a matter of days.
The Giving Tree is Hollis Brookline High School’s way of giving back to the community and making sure everyone has an enjoyable holiday season. Whether it’s students, teachers, or parents, everyone has the opportunity to give back  kindness that they receive to those who need it just as much.