Founded by campus volunteers nearly two decades ago, A Tree Grows in Pleasantville has grown from humble origins to become one of JCCA’s signature events, along the way raising more than $4 million to help bring healing, hope, and love to the young people of the Pleasantville Cottage Campus.
The first Tree was planted in 2006 by cohort of campus lunch bunch volunteers, led by founding co-chairs Andrea Soloway, Stacy Hochfelder, and Stephanie Spiegel, who is now president of JCCA. As these dedicated volunteers became increasingly enmeshed in campus life, they saw the chance to do more to support JCCA. The initial goals of the event were modest––raising funds for new shoes, athletic equipment, and birthday parties––though the aims became increasingly ambitious over time. Tree now plays a vital role in addressing the gap between what the government will pay for and what the vulnerable youth in JCCA’s care deserve: state-of-the-art programming, expanded health and wellness services, and the kinds of recreation and enrichment opportunities that any kid should have access to.