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PHOTOS: JM’s Giving Tree goes mobile

by | Feb 1, 2024 | Schools & Education

From James Monroe High School:

A new aspect to James Monroe High School’s The Giving Tree, The Mobile Giving Tree. The OG Giving Tree opened in 2019 on campus. Tough City Suds on campus in 2023. Each of these projects would have never existed if it were not for the dedication of JMHS faculty sponsor Tammy Clark and the unwavering generosity of Anderson Oil.
In its first year, the Giving Tree averaged 13 students. Last year they saw an average of 70 students each opening. The highest day ever was 113 students.
Tammy Clark said, “My motto is ‘See a need, meet a need.” The veteran teacher say it hurts to see children in need: “As one big family we must step in and help the students who do not have the basic necessities of life such as clean clothing, toiletries, and shoes. Without these items, students are more vulnerable to truancy.”
She recalled the first week The Giving Tree opened in 2019. A very reserved student sought Clark out after she had shopped and told her: “Thank you for letting me be pretty like the rest of the students.” Clark said to the group, “Teens battle enough stresses just by being a teen and obtaining basic needs should not have to be their concern.”
In 2022, aunt of graduate JM basketball player RJ Turner, Trina Bellamy, approached Clark about a possible charity golf tournament that the company she worked for sponsored. She said Anderson Oil had an annual charity golf tournament, and each year they donated all proceeds to a local charity. She submitted The Giving Tree, and the president of Anderson Oil Company quickly agreed that they would be the 2023 recipient. That tournament donation was $15,000, which allowed for Clark to open Tough City Suds, the laundry facility that has provided JM families with the ability to do their laundry for free.
In an unprecedented act, Mr. Anderson announced that The Giving Tree would be the repeat recipient of the tournament proceeds in 2024. With this year’s donation of $20,000, they were able to launch the Mobile Giving Tree.
Clark shared that the community should look out for the truck this spring. More details to come.
Photos: James Monroe High School

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