Carlisle Student Council members and the Bison Angel Tree committee are seeking the community’s help in making Christmas bright for students.
The Carlisle Bison Angel Tree is a Christmas tree dedicated to elementary and high school students who are need of assistance for the Christmas holiday. Each tree has numerous bison ornaments spread throughout its limbs naming one item a student would like to receive for Christmas. The items vary from dolls, art supplies and clothing items, to popular wii games and moves. After viewing the Bison Tree, it appears this year’s big ticket item is a bicycle.
"There are some very basic needs out there, as well as wants," district employee Karen Dycus said.
According to Dycus, there are 57 families with 128 children who signed up to participate in the bison tree this year. Dycus said four children enrolled in elementary or high school per family are allowed to sign up for assistance. She said students 4 years of age through 14 are allowed to ask for three items they wish to receive. Students who are 15-18 years old are allowed two wishes per child. Children on the Bison Tree are nominated by their families through a sign up applications, which were sent home with students weeks ago.
Dycus said there are numerous options for those wanting to help support these children. She said people may request families a whole, sponsor one child, choose an individual item from the tree or make a monetary denotations to help purchase items for students.
"It’s truly a community effort," Dycus said. "If it wasn’t for the individuals, civic groups, churches, teachers and the police department, we couldn’t do this."
While there is no limit on how much is spent per child, Dycus said she estimates about $100-$120 total is spent on each child from the two or three items they asked for. She said the school does monitor requests to ensure students are not asking for high dollar items like cell phones, iPods, laptops or computers. Dycus said when more costly items are listed, students are asked to think of another item they would like to receive instead. She said this is the only way to insure each child gets all the items they have asked for at Christmas.
Bison Trees are located in the high school and elementary offices. After selecting the Bison, people are asked write down their name, phone number on the signup sheet and include the Bison tag number as well as the item listed to purchase. Purchased items must be returned to the high school or elementary office by the end of the school day on Dec. 9. Items are to be unwrapped at the time of delivery.
"A lot of the parents like to wrap the gift themselves," Dycus said. "It helps parents feel like they have a part in it [their child’s Christmas]."
The Bison Angel Tree is sponsored by the bison angel tree committee made of district employees and the Carlisle Student Council.