Community Assistance and Referral Service is hosting holiday signups for the annual Giving Tree program from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m. through Friday and Oct. 28 through Nov. 1 at the Neighborhood at 2516 Carter Ave.
The Giving Tree gives area residents the chance to pick a child to help provide Christmas gifts for. Last year, the Giving Tree provided gifts for 773 children, and 445 families Low-income families also may sign up for the food help that is funded by CAReS participation in and leadership of the Needy Families Fund. With the economic difficulties in this community and beyond, CAReS anticipates that the need will be equal or greater this year.
Trish Hall, Executive Director of CAReS, stated that, “To provide for this number of children would be impossible without the generosity of hundreds of individuals and families that shop for needy children,” Trish Hall, executive director of CAReS, said. “Our area churches, businesses and corporations also adopt a number of children, many in the same family, to provide Christmas toys and clothing.”
To sign up children ages 0 to 16 to receive gifts in the Giving Tree program, parents or guardians must come to CAReS during the times stated above, Hall said. A current Neighborhood card is required and can be obtained at CAReS from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. A photo ID for all adults, proof of address, proof of income, Social Security numbers and birthdates for all in the household are required.
Custodial parents may sign up and will need to bring:
Neighborhood card for everyone in the home
Photo ID, current, for adults in the household
Proof of Boyd County residency (utility bill with name and address, rent receipt, etc.)
Social security cards for all children
Clothing sizes and wish list for all children
All participants are cross-referenced with partner agencies that provide similar services, including the Salvation Army and area family resource centers to avoid duplications of benefits, Hall said.
The Jingle Bell Charity Ball also benefits the Giving Tree. The ball will be Dec. 6 at Fannin Automotive Center on U.S. 60. Admission will be an unwrapped gift of an article of clothing or toy and $20. Donor tables are available.
The Needy Families Fund accepts donations in honor or in memory of loved ones and benefits four local charities. CAReS and Salvation Army receive 40 percent each of these donations, with 10 percent each going to Carter County Project Merry Christmas and Greenup County Helping Hands. CAReS share of this fund will help provide a food card for families receiving gifts from the Giving Tree.
Donations may be made by mail, at the CAReS’ office, or online at the CAReS’ website, which is boydcountycares.org.
Hall said CAReS is looking for assistance from area businesses, churches and individual volunteers who will host toy/clothing drives or volunteer to host the Giving Tree table at the Town Center Mall, beginning Nov. 17 through Dec. 6.
For more information about signing up for the Giving Tree to volunteer or to donate, call Hall at (606) 324-2949 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
LEE WARD can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2661.