Students who wanted to give back to the community this holiday season had the opportunity to buy gifts for underprivileged children in the area.

For the 23rd time, Student Voluntary Services put up an Angel Tree. Students "adopted" an angel with a child's name on it from the tree, learned about their situation and were tasked with buying presents for the child.

SVS worked with the Department of Child Services to find children for the tree, and most recipients are foster children. SVS President Rachel Johnson, a senior social work major, said this event helps children who may not receive presents otherwise. Volunteers are asked to spend a minimum of $25 on the gift. 

“This can greatly impact the amount of things they get," Johnson said. "We know this year someone is bringing in a bike, ... so some people really go all out, which is really, really cool."

Johnson said there are more than 213 gifts this year for the Angel Tree. Although there are no more angels to adopt, SVS is still looking for students to donate gift cards, clothes, books, toys or wrapping paper for the Angel Tree. 

“We’re always looking for books for kids; it’s always nice to give them more than one,” Johnson said.

Junior Rayvon Williams, a child life specialist and Spanish major, was one of many students who participated in the Angel Tree service. She is passionate about giving to those in need and uses some of her free time to work with children. 

“It really warms my heart to see that ... simple visits, words and gifts make a huge difference in a child’s life," Williams said.

Williams said the project will impact the foster children especially. Because the children will not know who bought their gifts, this “will make them feel loved.”

"These children do not have a family. It is crucial that we do everything in our power to make them special and loved, especially around the holidays, as I feel this could be the hardest time for them,” Williams said.