The 23rd annual Giving Tree will be displayed in the Mirror-Reporter office starting Wednesday, Nov. 21. Each year The Giving Tree provides a very real reminder of the importance of community and the real meaning of Christmas. Last year the tree featured a record 280 ornaments representing the wishes of local children and families. And just like it always has, the community rose to the challenge of seeing that each of those ornaments was chosen.
In the 22 years that the Mirror-Reporter has housed the tree, needs have never been left unmet. In fact, those choosing ornaments often remark that they had more fun shopping for someone they didn’t know than someone they did. They put time into thinking about their gifts, had fun wrapping them and like to think about how excited a child might be so open their presents on Christmas Day.
Sign-up forms for the Giving Tree were distributed at Parent-Teacher conferences held in the Clear Lake School District. They were also sent home with Ventura Elementary School students, as well as those attending Head Start and Lake Town Charlie Brown.
The Clear Lake School District is in charge of distributing, as well as processing the forms filled out by parents specifying needs they have for their children. Those who did not receive a form at conferences, or sent home with their pre-kindergarten through sixth grade student, may pick one up in their child’s school office. Deadline for parents to submit their Giving Tree forms is Nov. 9.
The school district will provide the Mirror-Reporter with ornaments representing the needs of each child. Other ornaments will list the size of a family requesting a gift of food.
New this year, the Giving Tree is asking that gifts of food be made with a gift card. The card may be presented with a small treat, but the food gift must be in gift card form, rather than boxes of non-perishable items. The change is necessitated by the overwhelming amount of food given in the past, as well as the challenge of making timely deliveries to the large number of recipients.
Questions regarding sign-up for the Giving Tree should be directed to Bethany Hythecker or Sally Duesenberg at Clear Lake Schools, 641-357-5288.
Those with questions about purchasing gifts or food for families, or wishing to make a donation which will be dedicated to the Giving Tree, should contact Marianne Morf or Deb Betz at the Clear Lake Mirror-Reporter, 357-2131.