Are you in the holiday spirit yet?
One of the community’s most recognizable symbols of the season is ready. The 28th annual Giving Tree is now on display in the Mirror-Reporter office at 12 N. 4th St.
For a quarter of a century, the Giving Tree has helped to make the holidays a little brighter for Clear Lake area families.
Sign-up forms for the Giving Tree were distributed in the Clear Lake School District and sent home with those attending Head Start and Lake Town Charlie Brown.
In 2016, the tree featured approximately 200 ornaments representing the wishes of local children from 78 families. And just like it always has, the community rose to the challenge of seeing that each of those ornaments was chosen.
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. The school district then provides the Mirror-Reporter with ornaments representing the needs of each child. Other ornaments will list the size of a family requesting a food gift card.
Again 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 was 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.
This year gifts must be brought to the Mirror-Reporter office by Wednesday, Dec. 13. Gifts will be organized for families as they are received. Families will be notified when gifts are ready for pick up.
In the 27 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 to open their presents on Christmas Day.
Questions regarding sign-up for the Giving Tree should be directed to Sara Puttmann 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 at the Clear Lake Mirror-Reporter, 357-2131. To make a tax-deductible donation to this year’s Giving Tree, make checks payable to Share Life with “Giving Tree” noted in the memo. Donations can be dropped off at the Clear Creek Elementary office or the Mirror Reporter office.