Tis the Season for Joy, Laughter and presents under the Christmas Tree. But due to Covid-19 and the amount of unemployment throughout the country the ability to have presents under that tree has become exceedingly difficult for many families.
This year Hopatcong had its second annual Giving Tree event at the Community Center, in the Walgreen’s shopping center, led by Councilwoman Dawn Roberts. The Giving tree, for those that are unaware, is the opportunity for families that are struggling financially to place an anonymous tag on the tree at the community center with the age and gender of the child.
The tags are numbered to help keep the person’s anonymity. Then “donor angels” looking to purchase items for these children come into the center, chose a tag and then shop for that child or children, return to the center with the gifts which are then held at the center for pick up by that family. In some cases, these “donor angels” have purchased more than one gift for these children. According to Councilwoman Roberts they gave out hundreds of gifts this year.
Due to the pandemic the number of families in need has increased incredibly. There has been such a need that some people have said that these gifts will be the only Christmas gifts these children will have. All precautions have been taken to handle these gifts properly due to COVID-19. Every item was sanitized and stayed under a UV light before being given to the families. There have also be turkeys and meals given out for Christmas as well.
Included in the donations were Shoprite and Walmart gift cards which have been used in some cases to help people get needed medication and diabetic supplies they have not been able to afford due to loss of income. “What we did was move prescriptions, when we could, to Shoprite or Walmart where they are less expensive. No one should have to go without medicine because of the crisis we are in” states Councilwoman Roberts.
Thank you to everyone that was able to donate gifts, time and energy to this wonderful event. Remember donations are always welcome at the Community Center. They do ask if you are donating coats, hats, etc that they be new, laundered, or dry cleaned first.
More About the Hopatcong Community Center:
The mission of the Community Resource and Wellness Center is to enhance the quality of life of our residents by caring for people, strengthening the bonds of community, and creating opportunities for renewal and enrichment.
Location: 47 Hopatchung Road Hopatcong, NJ 07843
Hours: Monday – Friday (9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Phone: (973) 810-3238
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