Tree of Giving - Gift Distribution

Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 20:00

It’s less than 10 days until Christmas. The kids are giddy with anticipation, the stores are buzzing with holiday shoppers and the eggnog is flowing. This has long been the favorite holiday of many and the pinnacle of the year for others. With so much celebration around, it is hard to imagine Christmas not being a joyous time. A reality of the world we live in is that not everyone has the means to provide extra for their family during the holidays. Think for a moment about a child who awakes on Christmas morning and has nothing to open, a family who doesn’t have the means to provide a holiday meal or a single parent who chose to pay the electric bill and has nothing left to buy their child a pair of tennis shoes for Christmas. It is exactly these circumstances that have led numerous non-profits and churches around our community to take up a collection, gather food boxes and toys, and try to bring a little joy to a family and the children who live among us.

Every year the Sleeping Lady Lions Club partners with a number of local businesses, individuals and families to bring a little Christmas spirit to the kids in our community. Many have seen the Christmas trees all over Eagle River with tags adorning the branches; each tag has the gender, age and Christmas wish of a child notated on it. While toys are a popular request, all too often there are requests for shoes, pants and jackets. It is a sobering thought that, as we contemplate the new Xbox Kinect, Coach purse or the rifle we want to buy, someone we know may not be able to provide the smallest of gift to their child.

This is the time of year that brings out the best out in our community. This year the Tree of Giving project includes 85 families with over 250 children. Some businesses and individuals have adopted entire families, while others have been so kind to take a tag, fill a wish, and place the gifts back under the tree. A big part of giving isn’t just buying something for someone; rather, it’s giving of yourself, your time and your compassion. If you would like to help, this is one of those projects that truly may change you. Rarely a year goes by when tears haven’t flowed. Whether it is the single mom who walks in and sees the generosity of a stranger for her children or the thankless volunteer who reads a Christmas request from a child, this opportunity to volunteer will give you a perspective you may not have had otherwise on the need, the generosity, and the appreciation of those around us.

All the gifts will be collected and sorted at the Lions Clubhouse in Eagle River. Sorting will begin on Dec. 16 at 5 p.m. The fun continues with the wrapping of the gifts on Saturday, Dec. 17 starting at 9 a.m. and going until we are done! The real treat is on Sunday, Dec. 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when the gifts will be distributed. This year Santa will be there to get pictures taken with the kids, Christmas music will be playing, and hot cocoa and cookies will be free for all to enjoy! As always, you don’t have to join or be a Lion to get involved. If you have an hour or two, come on down to the clubhouse, wrap some presents or help hand out gifts. We appreciate all the help and wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

For more information on the Tree of Giving, or on Lions, call Amy at 301-9179 or visit

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