12-19-17 For Immediate Release: Lincoln YMCA's Giving Tree Brings Holiday Cheer to Students

12-19-17 For Immediate Release: Lincoln YMCA's Giving Tree Brings Holiday Cheer to Students

Lincoln YMCA's Giving Tree Brings Holiday Cheer to Students

LINCOLN, NE [December 19, 2017] — The YMCA of Lincoln is making the holidays brighter for children at Elliott Elementary School. The YMCA’s annual Giving Tree program collected hundreds of donations for children in preschool through fourth grade so that every student at Elliott Elementary would receive a special holiday gift this year. Gifts were distributed by YMCA staff and volunteers through the Y’s Community Learning Center program. Earlier this month, the fifth grade class received a surprise visit from Nebraska Husker athletes who presented them with holiday gift bags, signed autographs and answered a host of questions for the inquiring young minds.

At Elliott, over 90 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunches. The Central Lincoln neighborhood near 25th and O Streets is home to a diverse range of lower income families.

The YMCA of Lincoln leads the school’s Community Learning Center (CLC) program—providing after school care and summer programming to keep students safe, learning and active while supporting their families. Students are able to partake in CLC programming at Elliott at no charge. This program has helped hundreds of students improve academically and has provided enriching experiences that they would not have had otherwise.

Elliott CLC director, Kristi Chambers, shared, “Toys, books and winter clothing were collected at our five membership facilities, as well as our administrative office. I’d like to send out a huge heartfelt thank you to our Y members and staff for their generosity in making this initiative a reality. The Giving Tree truly brings people together this time of year. And, seeing the joy in these children’s faces makes it all worth it.”

Thanks to donors, the YMCA is also able to give a few of the most in-need families boxes of food, basic necessities and clothing.

Teachers from Elliott Elementary and former YMCA CLC staff volunteered to sort and package the holiday gifts for distribution.

Chambers added, “Being a part of the Giving Tree initiative really does get you in the festive spirit and mobilizes our community into action to help those in need.” For more information about the YMCA’s Community Learning Center programs, visit ymcalincoln.org.


One of Lincoln’s largest nonprofit youth-serving organizations, the YMCA of Lincoln has served the community for close to 150 years—promoting positive values through programs that build spirit, mind and body for all. Today, the YMCA serves over 82,000 people each year with facilities in all quadrants of Lincoln through programs including swim lessons, Youth Sports, Camp Kitaki, after school programs, disease management and more. Everyone is welcome, and Open Doors Financial Assistance is available to those in need. For more information, visit ymcalincoln.org.