Project Giving Tree comes through

Beth KinnaneFarragut, Our Town Leaders

The tradition continues. Some 100 families (250 kids) from Farragut schools got an early Christmas gift on Dec. 9 through Project Giving Tree.

The long-running community effort hosted a drive-through pick-up at Farragut Primary School. The organization is a joint effort of the parent-teacher organizations at Farragut Primary, Intermediate, Middle and High schools.

“We all work together to support our families who are in need of extra help this holiday season,” said LeighAnna Colgrove, the PGT chair for the Farragut High School PTSO. “We’re here to help overcome any barriers for parents or guardians to provide for these kids.”

In the past, items were purchased and assembled at one of the schools for the parents to come in for a shopping day. Last year, the Covid-19 pandemic demanded a change in protocol that is being repeated this year. Instead of handing out wrapped presents, PGT will be handing out gift cards so the families can go shopping themselves. Colgrove said the families seem to appreciate the new approach and that it will likely remain as part of the program going forward.

Colgrove said PGT also distributed food baskets for Christmas dinner, tote bags with goodies, and that one donor provided school spirit gear for all the kids. She also tipped her hat to Concord United Methodist Church for providing Walmart gift cards for “whatever needs the family has to cover food insecurity for the holidays.”

While the Christmas season is the big push every year, Colgrove said the PGT works closely with the Farragut schools’ social worker, Jelena Browning, to help families fill needs for their children throughout the year. She also wanted to credit the chairs from each school for the work they do to pull this off: Jessica Barksdale, Farragut Primary School; Christy Davis, Nikki Hickman, Kelley Neal (program finance), Farragut Intermediate School; Mary Greene and Kelly Hasan, Farragut Middle School.

“I certainly didn’t invent the wheel, but I want to keep it going,” Colgrove said of her involvement with PGT. “It renews your Christmas spirit.”

Beth Kinnane is community news editor at

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