Skip to main content

With creativity, Heller Services Corps doesn’t let pandemic stop holiday giving

Blessing Trees gifts in the lobby of McAlister Auditorium.

For many people, 2020 seems like the year that won’t stop giving – and not in a good way. Furman’s Heller Service Corps, however, is determined to change that.

Students leaving campus Nov. 20 and not returning until Jan. 18 meant Heller’s annual RaeNae Nay’s Holiday Giving Tree, which invites nonprofit agencies to campus for a luncheon and the presentation of gifts collected by students and faculty, wasn’t going to be possible. But rather than be discouraged, Heller volunteers got creative.

The result was “Blessing Trees,” a pre-Thanksgiving celebration organized by Heller Director of Programs and Events Addison Smith ’22. Highlighted by an anonymous check for $5,000, a shopping spree for partnering nonprofits resulted in such an enormous number of gifts and donations Heller needed the lobby of McAlister Auditorium to house them until they could be picked up.

Blessing Trees ended up serving 19 agencies, with Furman students, faculty and staff donating a record number of gifts.

Below is a gallery of images taken from the Blessing Trees giveway on Wednesday, Nov. 18.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Last updated .

Members of the class of 2020 receive Furman’s highest honors

Scholarship Cup Awards winners announced along with Bradshaw-Feaster Medal and Donaldson-Watkins Medal recipients.

With creativity, Heller Services Corps doesn’t let pandemic stop holiday giving

"Blessing Trees" replaces annual RaeNae Nay's Holiday Giving Tree, but the end result of helping local nonprofits remains the same.

Nick Curcio '21 and Reagan Brittain '21

Reagan Brittain ’22, Nick Curcio ’22 win Furman Metropolitan Fellowship

The prestigious alumni-led grant program provides two rising fourth-year Furman students with the connections, means and support needed to obtain summer internships in New York City.

Nancy Blackwell Bourne ’62 writes and illustrates her first book

Painted with her left hand and penned with her right, Majelica’s Magical Moment” is a children’s picture book written in rhyme and published earlier in the summer.