The Holiday Helper Tree, Georgia Southern University’s annual holiday tradition where the campus community joins together to provide gifts to local organizations, returned for its 28th year. 

Due to a large demand this year, they have over 300 unclaimed tags on the Holiday Helper Tree. The deadline to process the request is Friday, December 3.

Community members help now | create Non-GS User account

You can purchase now virtually. However, if you are not a GS student, faculty or team member you will need to create a Non-GS User account. Once you create the account you can then access the tree and pull tags. This is necessary so they can keep track of who purchased the tags.

GS and community comes together

Sponsored by the Office of Leadership and Community Engagement (OLCE), the Holiday Helper Tree dons tags with a gift wish from someone in the community that can be pulled by a faculty, staff, student or community member.Gifts are delivered directly to the partner agencies who then wrap and distribute the gifts. 

“Holiday Helper Tree is one of the longest-standing holiday traditions at Georgia Southern,” said Emily Tanner, community engagement coordinator for OLCE. “This is another way we care for our neighbors in a way that may seem small, but to some of our fellow citizens, is actually very big.”

Credit: Georgia Southern

Last year, due to the pandemic, OLCE created a virtual tree for the Georgia Southern community to continue the tradition. With such overwhelming feedback, OLCE decided to place a physical tree while continuing the virtual format, said Tanner. 

“Since the tags are now all loaded onto the virtual tree, the tags on the physical trees will include QR codes that will take you to the virtual tree to pull a tag,” Tanner said.  “However, we feel that having the tree on campus is a great symbol and reminder of the spirit of giving that the Holiday Helper Tree promotes as we enter into the holiday season.” 

Tanner added the greater community can join in the spirit of giving this year virtually.

“Another update to the virtual tree this year will be access extended to the community-at-large,” said Tanner. “Last year, in order to access the tree, you had to have a Georgia Southern email account. This year, anyone can create an account and access the tree with ease.” 

OLCE is also accepting gift-wrapping supplies this year to assist the agencies in their efforts to wrap the gifts before delivery. 

“Anyone who would like to donate gift-wrapping supplies can bring them to the kickoff events or can drop it off at the Office of Leadership and Community Engagement on either campus throughout the month of November,” Tanner added. 

For more information about the Holiday Helper Tree, visit