Canton Church & Community Giving Tree receiving donations
CANTON – All over the Canton area, little pine trees decorated with donation envelopes for the Church & Community Giving Tree are appearing, just waiting for generous local folks to make a child’s holiday brighter again this year. For the third year, community members will also be helping provide gift boxes for senior citizens who are alone for the holiday season. The envelopes can be found in Canton and surrounding villages at local businesses, schools, and churches.
The program will provide local children from families in need with clothing and toy/gift vouchers, as well as a pair of new PJs and a hand-knitted hat made by a local group who knit through the year to make this happen. Each family will also receive a Save-A-Lot food voucher to add some sparkle to the holiday meal.Once again this year, SUNY Canton’s women’s lacrosse team is pitching in to help local children in need by raising money to help buy new PJs for each child in the program. Team members, led by head coach Adam Todd, are going door to door, meeting community members and asking them to help provide new winter PJs for children who otherwise might not have them.
“These young women are looking forward to giving back to the community,” Coach Todd notes. “We would hope to make our funding drives a community tradition.”
As in many past years, local Girl Scouts have also organized ways to help. To assist parents with their wrapping, 100 gift bags and big stacks of tissue paper were collected during a multicultural event by Girl Scouts from many areas of the North Country: the International Rapids, Oswegatchie, Piquet, Raquette Valley, and Nikentsiaki Service Units.
“We are always overwhelmed by how generous people are in our area!” says Cheryl Glidden, Giving Tree Co-Director. “The children who participate in our program are able to have a special Christmas morning when they receive their warm pajamas, a cozy hand-knit hat, and the toys and clothing their parents will purchase with the gift cards they receive. It’s heart-warming to know that the parents are able to choose gifts that their children need and will enjoy!”
“Parents know their child's preferences and truly appreciate being able to choose the perfect toy and clothing item for their children,” Thadine Wight, Giving Tree Board Member, adds.
A first in 2021 was the addition of a senior gifting component to the program. In 2022, sixty senior citizens joined 384 children in receiving gifts, thanks to the generosity of many local business and individual donors. Again in 2023, Giving Tree will provide a box of gifts for each senior served by the Food Pantry Senior Squad, which delivers food biweekly to seniors who qualify for food assistance, but who are unable to pick up their groceries in person. Gift bags are also distributed to seniors who lack family and reside in local nursing homes.
“We all think of children when we approach the holidays, and rightly so,” says Fran Bailey, Co-Director of Giving Tree. “But there are so many older people who are all alone in our community and we are committed to making their holidays brighter as well.”
Gifts and vouchers will be distributed to parents on December 2.
People who want to give to Giving Tree 2023 have many ways to do it. They may take a donation envelope from one of the many trees around town and send a donation to Church & Community Giving Tree at PO Box 55, Canton, or drop off their donation at the Second Chance Thrift Shop, 30 Court Street, Canton.
Those who prefer to give online may go to ccpcanton.org, click the “Donate” button and pay with PayPal. The first page has a drop down menu to allow donors to choose “Giving Tree,” and then enter the amount.
People interested in helping with Giving Tree should contact Fran Bailey at [email protected].