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Recreation Center, Huntington area charities bring holiday hope to families in need

The Parthenon

Published: Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 22:12

The Marshall University Recreation Center and the First Year Residence Halls are lending a helping hand to those in need during the holidays through the Rec the Halls and Holiday Hopes events.

“In the spirit of the holiday season, the Marshall Recreation Center and the FYRH are partnering to make a difference in the community,” Kayla Dodd, marketing assistant at the Rec Center, said. “The purpose of Rec the Halls is similar to that of ‘Angel Tree.’”

There are various Christmas trees around campus that anyone can take an angel from or donate a gift to.

“There are three Christmas trees that have the tags with the wishes of children in the tri-state area. There is a tree in the Rec Center lobby, and one in each of the FYRH dorms,” Dodd said.  
Various charities in Huntington, like the A.D. Lewis Community Center, NECCO, Golden Girl Group Home, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Ronald McDonald House and Toys for Tots, are participating by putting wishes on the trees.  
The preparation for the project started in November and will continue through the Christmas season.

“The trees were set up and ready to go with the wishes on Nov. 13, before everyone went on Thanksgiving break. The gifts need to be returned by Wednesday, Dec. 11,” Dodd said.  
The Rec Center will also host a wrapping party on Dec. 13 from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. in an effort to wrap gifts people have donated. The Rec Center is also accepting donations in the form of gift boxes, wrapping paper, tape and bows to assist with the wrapping process.

“We have about 400 tags on the tree this year, and there are still some left to be taken,” Dodd said. “We are looking to see involvement from all groups on campus, whether it be by taking a wish, donating supplies or donating time to help wrap gifts,” Dodd said.

The project’s goal is to help give to those who have less and make their holiday special.

“Rec the Halls with Holiday Hopes is an event that we can put on to give back to the community. I think it is great because it gives us a chance to help out less fortunate children in the local area to make their Christmas more enjoyable,” Dodd said.

Carissa Janczewski can be contacted at

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