Potomac Falls’ Very Own Giving Tree


The four year old tradition of giving back returns to Potomac Falls this year 

Every year for the last four years, the Panther Giving Tree has aided disadvantaged students in giving them a holiday experience they likely otherwise wouldn’t of had. Parent Liaisons Helen Chang and Judy Schmidt started the tradition of donating gifts to PFHS students in need when they first started working at the school.

“We started out by recognizing that there is a need, and that there are students who don’t have [as much] and we decided that one way we could help them is that the whole panther community could help them,” said Chang.

The Giving Tree process starts out with the liaisons asking students in need to make two wishlists. The first one is a wishlist for items that they need. These could be anything from socks to a warm winter jacket. The second wishlist is for items that the students want. Examples of these items could be, iTunes gift cards, game cards, and makeup. The liaisons put the wish on cards to put on the giving tree.  Community members, service clubs, teachers, and staff are encouraged to pick up as many cards as they want and try to fulfill those wishes.

Community members can also donate gift cards of 25 dollars so that financially stricken students can purchase gifts on their own.  There is also a Panther Helping Panthers program in which participants can give monetary donations in amounts of their choice.  

As parent liaisons, Chang and Schmidt mostly work with disadvantaged students in the Panther community.  They aide students in giving them access to necessities such as food, clothing, medical care, school supplies and other supplies.

 “That’s not to say that every student is [not] more than welcome to come and see us because we may have resources that you as one of the other students might need. We actually can direct you to the right place to get it,” said Chang.