GREENCASTLE -- The Putnam County Community Foundation announced that volunteers for the Putnam County Giving Tree are already hard at work getting ready for the Christmas season. The officers of the organization expect the need to be greater this year, and established a Fund that will be administered by the Community Foundation. Contributions to the Fund will be used to provide Christmas gifts for children of eligible families who request assistance.
"We expect increased applications this year due to the economy," said Whitney Fajt, president of Putnam County Giving Tree. "Last year we helped 213 eligible families with an average of three children per family, and a total of 850 children."
The Putnam County Giving Tree provides brand new toys and clothes for Putnam County children. In addition its mission includes providing an efficient, coordinated, county-wide resource helping caring people buy Christmas presents for Putnam County children aged 18 and under in need.
"This is a very generous community, and multiple organizations and churches help people at Christmas time," said Ruth Myers, vice president. "A few years ago, we discovered that sometimes deserving families could not be helped because a few people were taking advantage of the system and obtaining duplicate assistance. We maintain a comprehensive, confidential list of families in need, and we welcome the opportunity to work with other organizations."
To be eligible for assistance from the Giving Tree, you must be a Putnam County resident or attend a Putnam County School, have full custody of your children, and receive federal, state, or local financial assistance. Children must be under the age of 18 or still in high school to receive benefits from the Giving Tree.
The deadline for applications is Nov. 7. Applications are available at Putnam County school offices, Family Support Services, Johnson Nichols Health Clinic, Putnam County Head Start Programs and Care-Net Pregnancy Center.
Individuals, churches, businesses, or organizations wishing to directly assist Putnam County families should contact the Putnam County Giving Tree via email at email@example.com or download a sponsorship form at www.pcfoundation.org. They may also obtain a "gift tag" from the Greencastle Wal-Mart's "Giving Tree" no later than Thanksgiving Day.
Anyone may contribute to the Putnam County Giving Tree Fund, or start a new endowment in his/her own name. Contributions to the Fund should be made payable to the Putnam County Community Foundation with "Putnam County Giving Tree" in the memo, and mailed to 2 South Jackson Street, Greencastle, IN 46135.
Contributions may also be made online at www.pcfoundation.org. The Community Foundation staff is available to help donors make gifts of cash, stock, retirement assets, life insurance, bequests, real estate and other types of gifts to the Fund.
The Community Foundation administers more than 180 funds for donors, supporting a variety of charitable purposes. To learn more about this new fund, how to make a contribution, or how to start a new fund, visit www.pcfoundation.org or contact Eric Wolfe or Elaine Peck at 653-4978.