Naval Academy to hold annual ‘Giving Tree’ charity ceremony

MC1 Chad Runge

The Naval Academy is hosting a ceremony tomorrow to launch its annual “Giving Tree” campaign that collects gifts for local children in need each holiday season.

This will mark the 32nd annual Giving Tree ceremony where, in partnership with the Salvation Army, midshipmen, faculty and staff at the academy will have the opportunity to spread some holiday cheer by purchasing gifts for children in the Annapolis, Maryland region.

Leaders from the academy are expected to speak during the brief 15-minute ceremony, which will also feature the Naval Academy Band.

“Midshipmen from the Naval Academy’s 6th Company will decorate a Christmas tree and [m]enorah in the Rotunda of Bancroft Hall with paper angel ornaments provided by the Salvation Army,” the Naval Academy said in a release.

“Each ornament has the first name, age, gender, clothing sizes, and a wish list of items for a child in need in the local community.”

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Individuals may take one or more of the paper ornaments to buy a gift for the child it represents, and later the Salvation Army will wrap and distribute them to the kids.

Many of the wish list items include electronics, musical instruments, bicycles, winter clothes and footwear.

“There’s something so fulfilling to see all the gifts under the tree. It is an inspiring reminder of what the Brigade can accomplish when we come together for a good cause,” Midshipman 1st Class Isabel Hosafros, this year’s Giving Tree project lead, said in a statement to Military Times.

The Academy is expecting to provide gifts for over 500 children this year and the gifts will be collected through Dec. 6.

“It’s a blessing and we are extremely grateful,” Emily Vincent, of the Salvation Army, previously told CBS Baltimore. “We love that this is a tradition the Navy has.”