By Amy Woolvett
THE COAST GUARD
As the excitement of the Christmas season approaches many people are out bustling around the shops finding that perfect present to bring a smile of joy to a loved one or hanging up the decorations with the spirit of the season.
For too many in the Shelburne area, it can be a stressful and painful time when they know with certainty that they cannot provide their children a gift under the tree for Christmas morning.
In the true spirit of Christmas with a caring and tight knit community, five very special Christmas trees have been carefully decorated throughout Shelburne and Lockeport.
On its boughs is the name, age, clothing size and special request of the communities children, who without the support of neighbours, strangers and friends will not receive the magical Christmas that they dream of.
For its second year running the Giving Trees decorated with the names of 127 children in the Shelburne and Lockeport area can be found at the Lockeport Royal Bank, Shelburne TimBr-Mart, Enterprise Square, Woodworkers Home Hardware and the Shelburne Mall near the Scotia Bank.
The Shelburne Lions Club have organized this wonderful cause and have asked parents in need to write down three things their children would want for Christmas.
“Parents are just so overwhelmed and so strapped for money that they just cry,” said Carol Morash secretary of the Shelburne Lions Club. “We need the community to purchase a tag. The community is what makes this program successful…we couldn’t do it without them.”
She said that last years Giving Tree program shared tremendous success with three or four gifts going to each child with over 500 gifts donated.
Each tag will contain one or three items and people wanting to purchase a gift can choose just one or even all three. They then purchase the item and hand it in unwrapped to the Great Canadian Dollar Store in the Shelburne Mall or to a Shelburne Lion member. All gifts should be handed in by Dec 17 so that they can be wrapped and delivered for Dec 20.
With only one week in, there have already been 40 gifts brought in and community members, businesses and groups are getting into the spirit of giving.
“Some companies instead of buying gifts for each other are getting tags and purchasing gifts,” Morash said.
Other creative fundraising ideas have enabled people to purchase tags including the 50/50 proceeds during the monthly Lions night with David Burbine.
The Salvation Army has donated $4000 to the cause by purchasing Sobey’s gift cards to be given to families for Christmas dinner.
The Lion’s have also organized a program where individuals, groups or businesses can adopt a family and provide their entire Christmas including gifts and a huge grocery box for a family who is really low income.
Tim Horton’s has provided $700 to adopt a family and Lion’s bartenders saved all of their tips throughout the year to do the same.
“There is no price limit for gifts,” said Morash. “Just what you can afford to give.”
“It is a super project,” she said. “I just love it.”