SALT, The Center and a Giving Tree!

Text by Andrew Wu and Lucy Torres. Photos from Salt Collectiv

SALT Collectiv's Giving Tree
SALT Collectiv is a charity that helps serve the marginalized in different ways.

SALT Collectiv is a charity that helps serve the marginalized in different ways, such as cooking and delivering food for the homeless. This year The Center is happy to be joining SALT’s Giving Tree event to help spread the festive spirit to those less fortunate in Taiwan. Read on for more information about this event that gives back to the local community.

Andrew Wu, Co-Founder, SALT Collectiv

The Giving Tree is a Christmas tradition that goes by many names and is practiced all over the world. The basic idea is to give a gift to someone less fortunate than yourself. Initially we were inspired by the folks at The Key Fitness and collaborated with them to provide gifts to orphanages and children’s hospitals. It was so awesome that we wanted to do more the following year. “What about the schools for the visually impaired and on the spectrum?” We hit those up and started to deliver there. “What about the organizations outside of Taipei?” We got that in the books. “Let’s try and reach 1000 kids!” Boom. Done. “What about the aboriginal organizations deep in the mountains that don’t receive much support at all?” Bet. Checked. 

The #GivingTreeTW campaign

The #GivingTreeTW campaign is so much more than just giving a Christmas gift. It’s about the connection between the donor and the recipient. The recipient could be from an orphanage, social-welfare organization, specialized school, or hospital. They could range from infants to geriatrics, as many of the elderly we serve entered those organizations when they were children and still need love now as much as they needed it then. We have the opportunity to ask each of them directly what’s the one thing they want the most. Obviously, we won’t be getting them a spaceship to Mars (that was an actual wish, but we unfortunately had to ask them to wish for something else), but it’s a chance for them to feel that someone truly cares. 

SALT Collectiv has so many stories, and we’ve seen how individuals personally experiencing the Giving Tree are more inspired and encouraged to participate year after year, even wanting to be more involved. That lasting imprint and impact is what SALT Collectiv is all about. 

the Giving Tree campaign
We’ve seen how individuals personally experiencing the Giving Tree are more inspired and encouraged to participate year after year.

Lucy Torres, The Center

I went along to SALT Collectiv’s Giving Tree event last year for the first time and had a blast. Not surprisingly, all the wishes on the tree were in Chinese, so I got a volunteer to help translate and chose a wish for a comic book. I found the first book in the series online. However, I wanted to buy the rest of the series and this led to an interesting Saturday visiting small shops in random areas of Taipei. In Ximen, the first shop I visited didn’t have the series, but a very helpful Taiwanese girl liked my story and accompanied me to three other shops, all to no avail – apparently Manga comics go out of print quickly! In the end she recommended another series which she thought the reader might like, but more than anything I was touched by how willingly she helped me. I loved the whole experience of connecting with different community members and I really hope the reader was happy with their gift. 

So, COT readers, come to The Center and select a wish to fulfill this year. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing where the gift shopping will take me this time!

A Christmas tradition
SALT Collectiv’s Giving Tree is a Christmas tradition.

How does it work?

The Giving Tree at The Center is open from mid-November to 11 December. Pick a wish from the tree, purchase and wrap the gift, and leave it at The Center. Center representatives will then deliver all the gifts to the recipient organizations around the 15th of December.

You can also attend the Salt Collectiv Giving Tree Event on 2 December 2023.

See more information and photos from past Giving Tree events here:

#charity #centerevents

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