The trees not only add lights and a little holiday cheer. They also are a way for students, faculty and staff to help children in need.

The Bachelor of Social Work Student Association set up the Giving Trees each year adorned with paper ornaments. They each contain the first name of a child ages 1 to 18 and their “wish item.”

This year the need is especially great because of the economy. Many of the wishes are simple such as “a t-shirt,  a doll.”

“We really want to give back around the holidays, especially to children who don’t have families or have families that are not be able to afford gifts of their own,” said Brandie  Fliegelman, the group’s president.

More than 500 children in the community have benefited over the years from this student-run project.

Each year the association works with a different charity to reach a different group of children. This year, the trees will benefit A Chosen Child Inc., a Central Florida based adoption agency. Last year more than 100 gifts were collected.

To help, stop by and pick up an ornament or email the association at [email protected] .

The group asks anyone who is donating to please return gift cards or unwrapped gifts to the Social Work office in HPA I, room 204 no later than Dec. 1.