Another year to make a difference with the Giving Tree

Judy Lindgren, cashier at the Island Market, has helped with the Giving Tree for the last 12 years. And each year comes the joy of seeing a community come together and also some sad revelations.

“Some years it is hard to see the gift ideas,” said Lindgren, who works on this project with Erin O’Dell of Orcas Family Connections and Amber Paulsen of Kaleidoscope. “There was one year where everything asked for on the tree was out of necessity: underwear, socks, toothbrushes, deodorant and pajamas. That was the hardest year.”

Each year forms are sent out to local schools for families that are in need. They can request any items, but donors are asked to not exceed $100 when making purchases. The idea is to make sure that every child wakes up with presents under their trees, said Lindgren.  The forms are turned into anonymous tags or wish lists that adorn the Giving Tree at the market. Starting the day after Thanksgiving, islanders can pluck a tag from a tree and will have until Dec. 19 to return the presents back to the market.

Lindgren estimates that there were about 175 children who participated in the Giving Tree last year.

“There have been an increasing number of tags in the last couple of years,” said Lingren.

Monetary items and very gently used items are also accepted.


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