“The 2021 Giving Tree will run using the same model as last year when COVID forced us to rely heavily on a gift card model,” a press release stated. “When the families were surveyed about the changes, we learned many really enjoyed the new options, especially the opportunity to shop directly for their children.
“We currently have 96 families with 240 children who will be served by our 2021 Giving Tree,” the release added. “We continue to see and feel the effects of COVID on our families. Our primary efforts are focused on providing gift cards to cover clothing and a toy or gift for each child in the program. Volunteers will shop for families with limited transportation, health conditions or special needs for the child. With a mix of gift cards and private shopping, we aim to strike a balance of providing meaningful gifts that are needed and useful while still fostering autonomy for the families.”
Also being addressed in helping to lessen “food insecurity for our families,” the release stated. “We plan to offer food pantry boxes for each family again this year. Thanks to the generosity of Concord United Methodist Church and their Good Samaritan Fund, we will also be able to offer each family an additional $50 Walmart gift card to help with extra food and any other needs this holiday season.”
Donate online at GiveButter.com/farragutgivingtree. If you’d like to donate gift cards, these can be donated at the front office of any Farragut public school. All donations are due by Friday, Dec. 3. For more information, e-mail email@example.com.
The event will be held as a drive-up event again this year. “Our families will receive their gifts and food boxes on Dec. 9,” the release stated. “Hopefully, this date provides ample time to shop for those who will be using gift cards to shop for their children’s gifts.”
Another benefit of trying new ideas is the addition of online donation. “We are so grateful for the ability to collect donations online again this year,” the release stated. “It opens up the opportunity for our broader Farragut community to support these efforts.
“In addition to our Farragut schools’ social worker, Jelena Browning, we have a great team of Giving Tree chairs (from PTOs) at each of the schools helping coordinate our efforts: Jessica Barksdale, FPS; Christy Davis and Nikki Hickman, FIS; Kelley Neal, program finance, FIS; Mary Greene and Kelly Hasan, FMS; and LeighAnna Colgrove, FHS.”