857 people from Kingston to Northbook given food, toys, clothing and more
The Tree of Hope Christmas appeal has met its 2016 targets. The annual campaign by Family and Children's Services of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington gave food, toys, clothing and more to 857 people.
One of the oldest Christmas appeals in Southeastern Ontario, the Tree of Hope helps clients of the Children’s Aid Society. This year saw an increase in the number of recipients outside of Kingston. Sixty-five percent of gifts went to kids in Kingston, but that was significantly less than last year. The campaign delivered to almost every major town in Frontenac and Lennox and Addington, including Napanee, Northbrook, Odessa, Sharbot Lake, Iverary, Yarker and Amherstview. Half of all gifts went to children under the age of 9. Those 9 to 17 received 33 percent. The rest were given to those over 18, mostly moms, dads and caregivers of kids receiving toys. The number of older teens and adults rose sharply in 2016 compared to last year, rising nearly 40 percent.
Overall, there were more than 200 individual and group gift donors, some giving just a single gift and others giving as many as 100 gifts. It is estimated that the Tree of Hope generates more than $40,000 in gift sales, mostly toy donations, for the local economy every year.
The Tree of Hope will continue to help kids in need long after Christmas. Any money left over from the campaign will be used to send the same kids to summer camp in July.
The campaign was supported by a team of 12 volunteers as well as Family and Children’s Services staff. They started work in October and were working round the clock in the last week to complete the campaign.
Donations of money are still needed. People can still donate online with a credit card atwww.HelpTreeofHope.ca.