Trinity Episcopal Church Giving Tree project coordinator Nancy Suarez had her work cut out for her this season. “As the coordinator of the Christmas giving project for the church, school guidance teachers in Shelburne, Charlotte, Hinesburg, and Williston send me a wish list of students who need gifts for the holidays. Sadly this was a particularly ‘big’ year, as I received large lists that translated to 201 tags posted on the ‘tree’ whereas a typical year might be 130-150 tags,” she commented.
Suarez inherited this project from dear friend and fellow parishioner, Marie Visco, who was a school nurse at the Hinesburg Community School (HCS). “Marie started posting tags at Trinity nearly 20 years ago for the kids at HCS that she knew would not have much for Christmas. Fourteen years ago when Marie was dying of breast cancer, she asked if I could take over her pet project. Obviously, one does not say ‘no’ to a request like that, so I have been doing it ever since,” she informed. Suarez has even grown the project to include Williston so that all of Chittenden South school district is represented.
Although most of the children are in elementary school, the children range in age from newborn through high school. And even a few parents, who generally request food gift cards, get in on the act.
Fortunately for Suarez church members are especially generous, “The Giving Tree Project is a favorite of Trinity. The members rise to the occasion, even for a big year like this one.” Amen.