The Tree of Life: 'Giving Tree' Benefits WCA 

"Our need is as great as ever."

It may not be the most glamorous Christmas tree in town, but you'll be hard-pressed to find one more admirable. Known as the "Giving Tree," the giant evergreen in the Grove Plaza will be lit up Friday, Nov. 25, but the the real highlight is the thousands of squares of paper hanging from the boughs.

"They're putting the tags on the tree as we speak," said Women's and Children's Alliance spokeswoman Chris Campbell-Davis. "And each tag has something written on it—maybe paper towels, cleaning supplies, a book for a child, perhaps some clothes."

Presented by the Downtown Boise Association and Zions Bank, the tree beckons its admirers to grab a tag and make a holiday wish come true for a WCA client. Donations can be dropped off at a Zions Bank or the WCA's Boise headquarters on Washington Street.

"Our need is as great as ever," said Campbell-Davis.

The WCA sheltered 177 women and children in 2015, provided 2,732 counseling session, and answered more than 2,000 calls to its domestic abuse hotline.

"I would love to say that there's a lull at holiday time, but the need is just as high," she added.

According to Campbell-Davis, families were moving into the WCA safe shelter during Thanksgiving week and the nonprofit traditionally has a year-round waiting list.

"Because of the confidentiality, sometimes we're the only ones who witness the overwhelming joy, even tears, when the women and children receive something for Christmas," she said. "They think it's pretty amazing that there are people who care for them. Quite often, they have nothing when they come to the shelter because they've left everything behind. To give them something from the Giving Tree is, in large part, a new Christmas memory because they're starting a new journey."

The Giving Tree, which will be lit during a ceremony from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Friday, will remain at the Grove Plaza through the holiday season.

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