A GIGANTIC thank you to everyone who helped out in the 2016 PVEN Angel Tree Gift Distribution!
We’re still tabulating the final numbers, but it looks like at least 415 kids from 0-17 will have a brighter Christmas this year. That’s because on December 21st and 22nd we gave out more than 3700 gifts for kids in the West End!
From bassinets to Bluetooth speakers, from trendy flannel PJ’s to Pokemon characters, there were lots of gifts for kids of every age. We worked with support groups across the area to make sure families knew how to sign up, and then asked about what their kids might want for Christmas. That info was anonymously shared with local churches whose members filled most of the requests. And regardless of when or where parents signed up, they went home with at least 8 gifts for each of their children.
Time for a few thank yous and shout outs:
+ Most importantly – Thank you to the folks of the West End and the surrounding area for being so giving of your resources and time. We had more wonderful gifts like bicycles and drones than ever before.
+ And the 50+ volunteers who went around to collect the gifts, who loaded and unloaded trucks in the snow, who stayed late, late into the evenings this week to count the toys by age group and set everything up, and who worked one-on-one with each family to pick out gifts and help them to their cars – there are no words to describe just how important your help was in making this successful!
+ Thank you to the US Marine’s Toys for Tots program. We’re proud to be one of the organizations you enlist to help distribute the toys you collect each year.
+ The Pocono Record Toys for Joy program that helps increase the number and quality of the gifts that kids get.
+ Radio Shack in Brodheadsville for helping us find gifts for teenagers, and donating festive stockings for us to make stocking stuffer gifts too.
And the Target manager in Stroudsburg who helped late, late on Tuesday night when we went shopping for extra baby gifts.
+ AAA U-Lock It Storage who lent us a portable storage unit to store some gifts, and the Eldred Community Center that allowed us to stockpile some gifts over the summer too.
+ Our peers in other local support organizations that got the word out about the program and especially East Stroudsburg Salvation Army who shared forms and ideas on how to streamline our gift-giving process even more.
+ And a VERY BIG thank you to Christ Hamilton United Lutheran Church who allowed us to use their building for the distribution. They have been so accommodating – we thank the staff, council, and congregation so much for being so generous with their space.