Volunteers for the Putnam County Giving Tree program announced recently that individuals, churches, businesses, and organizations are needed to directly assist Putnam County children whose families will not be able to provide them with Christmas gifts this year.
Interested persons can help by selecting a gift tag from the Giving Trees located in the customer service areas inside Greencastle Kroger and Wal-Mart stores by Nov. 17.
Officers report that monetary donations are also needed to help children who are not sponsored.
The officers expect the need to be greater this year.
They organized a corn-hole fundraiser and established a fund administered by the Putnam County Community Foundation to accept tax-deductible contributions.
"We have seen increased applications this year due to the economy," said Dick Shuck of Putnam County Giving Tree. "Last year we helped 225 eligible families with an average of four children per family, and a total of 900 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 many organizations and churches help people at Christmastime," said Terry Bruner, secretary. "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, families must reside in Putnam County or have childre that attend a Putnam County School, have full custody of their 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. 22. 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.
Anyone may contribute to the Putnam County Giving Tree Fund, or start a new endowment in his or 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/PutnamCountyGivingT....
Community Foundation staff members are 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 200 funds and endowments for donors, supporting a variety of charitable purposes.
To learn more about this 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.