I went grocery shopping yesterday and was surprised to see Christmas decorations for sale. I guess you can’t start the holiday planning season too early, so I’m sharing about the Lakewood Y Giving Tree.
I’ve always loved the idea of “Giving Trees.” The idea is to go shopping for an unknown child, just like you would for your own child or grandchild. You can choose a card to Santa off the Giving Tree and start shopping immediately. You don’t need to wrap the presents, but it helps if you can picture a child in your mind and purchase something that you believe would make them smile. Buying a child’s gift is like giving a make-believe hug. Amy Boheman, Lakewood Y Mission Director explains, “We are seeking to partner with individuals, families and businesses who would like to “sponsor” a child or a family for the 2019 holiday season. The commitment is approximately 3 gifts per child and that the gifts are unwrapped and delivered to the Lakewood Y by Dec 12.” Don’t worry, if that seems too much for you to take on. Amy says, “There are so many ways to help if you can’t commit to that. We only take new items and will not give out any confidential identifying information to anyone. We love to create some magic at the holiday time for children from birth to age 17.”
Here are a few suggestions: Gift cards from Target, Amazon and movie theaters are always needed for our teenagers . . . many of whom struggle to get sponsored. Gift certificates for family experiences are also an easy and much needed gift. Experiences like bowling at Bowlero Lanes, tickets to Lakewood Playhouse, Pt. Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, or NW Trek provide both fun and memories.
This article isn’t really coming out too early. The Lakewood Y is accepting applications from families that need help from Nov 1-20. These will be available at the front desk at the Lakewood Family Y starting Nov 1 and is open to both members and the community. The Y will be collecting nonperishable food at the Lakewood Y from Nov 1-25 to donate to the Fallen Officers Food Drive and Lakewood Y will be hosting a “Hope for the Holidays” event on November 23 to help those who are grieving lost loved ones in the holiday season. It will run from 6:30pm-8pm.
Amy is happy to share last year’s results with everyone, “Last year we were able to help 48 families with 154 children, this included 8 military families and 8 families that self-reported being homeless. We also were able to gift 15-20 families pet food for their furry family from a donation that we receive from Animal Supply Company.”
The need is there and the Lakewood community has long helped our neighbors. Amy and her supervisor, David Ramirez are ready to organize presents as they prepare to make Christmas dreams come true.