Giving Tree Campaign Kicks Off on Friday05:40PM / Tuesday, November 26, 2013
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Berkshire Money Management is supporting the 33-year-old "Giving Tree" holiday clothing drive this year with a new publicity campaign urging area residents to help provide warm clothing for local children in need.
The new "Give Back" initiative, highlighting the needs of Berkshire Community Action Council's Elf Holiday Warm Clothing Program, will kick off on Friday, Nov. 29, at 11 a.m. at the program's Giving Tree station near the entrance of JC Penney at the Berkshire Mall.
Rather than "Black Friday," people will be encouraged to recognize "Give Back Friday."
Volunteers, longtime donors and other members of the community will be on hand throughout the day to talk with media and the public about how they can help sponsor children in need of gifts of warm winter clothing during the holiday season.
Berkshire Money Management is sponsoring efforts to raise awareness about the program through marketing efforts encouraging shoppers to give back to their community by reaching out to help just one of the hundreds of disadvantaged children in central Berkshire County in need of new winter coats, hats, shirts and other warm winter clothing.
For decades, the volunteer Elf Giving Tree drive overseen by the BCAC has been able to find businesses and individuals at all levels to help sponsor thousands of children of income-eligible families locally to receive anonymous gifts of children's winter clothing during the holiday season.
Hundreds are accounted for early on through substantial donations by local businesses, and hundreds more by individual sponsors who select envelopes from the tree with one or more child's first name, age, sizes, color and specific clothing needs, which they then shop for and bring the items back to the annual Giving Tree table at the mall each year.
Through videos, photography, social media and other mediums, the new campaign is designed to shine a light on the need and show firsthand how rewarding it is to give back through the Giving Tree program.
The campaign will also include new custom "I Gave Back" stickers, designed by One Eighty Media, to help participants let their friends know about the program, and as a token to let them know how much their contribution means. These will be given out to everyone who sponsors a child with new clothes or through a monetary donation, from Give Back Friday until the conclusion of the program Dec. 22, or whenever all names are accounted for.
The Giving Tree table is staffed by volunteers from 11 a.m. to at least 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., beginning on Nov 29. The program is also seeking volunteers for two-hour shifts through the season; contact volunteer coordinator Regina White at 413-358-1060.