Living out the mission of Seattle University and its dedication to educating the whole person, the women's basketball team and staff helped deliver gifts to needy children and adults in their community on Monday. The service project was organized by the SU Center for Service and Community Engagement.

"It is so rewarding to give back to others and provide a ray of sunshine during the holiday season," said head coach Joan Bonvicini. "Our players and coaches are truly invested in the Seattle community."

Through their annual Giving Tree, the CSCE collected gifts over the past several weeks from members of the campus community, including faculty, students, and staff. The Giving Tree has become a great way for Seattle U to give back to their community and to help grant the holiday wish of a child, elder, or family in the area.

This year, the CSCE collected their highest amount of gifts yet, as they far surpassed their goal of 100 gifts. Most of the 116 total gift recipients received more than one gift. Also, for the first time, one of the children received a bike from a generous donation by someone in the SU community.

Once the gifts had been collected, the Redhawks split into groups and helped distribute presents to places such as Childhaven, Treehouse, Full Life, and the Yesler Community Center.

"Coming together as a team to give back creates a great feeling within us," said senior Brenda Adhiambo. "We love showing support to our community, and it's a wonderful feeling to give back. Today was a great team event, and we are proud to be Redhawks."

This is the second year that SU Athletics has played a major role in the distribution of Giving Tree gifts, as the men's and women's swim teams helped distribute gifts during the 2011 holiday season.

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