Children’s Services Tree of Hope to Stop Collecting Toys Due to COVID-19

Published on: 2020/07/28 - in Releases

Family and Children’s Services of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington issued the following release regarding its Tree of Hope campaign:

RELEASE — Because of COVID-19, this year our hundred year old Tree of Hope holiday appeal will look very different. We’ll be stopping the collection of toys and instead distributing gift cards to families to purchase their own needs for the holidays.

We need to raise $50,000 to provide gift cards directly to families The Tree of Hope is Southeastern Ontario’s oldest continuing holiday appeal. It has been helping families serviced by our Children’s Aid Society for more than a hundred years. It includes people of all faiths and beliefs, including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali and more. All are welcome under the Tree of Hope. It provides things kids need, from toys and clothing to culture and heritage.

An extensive review concluded that our system would not be safe this year because of COVID-19. The seasonal spaces, people and systems the campaign uses were never designed to handle a situation like a pandemic and cannot be easily adapted.

To keep families, staff and volunteers safe the Tree of Hope will be switching to issuing gift cards to families to buy what they need when they need it for the Holidays.

The campaign has used gift cards for some families in the past and it has a system in places that works. Instead of asking for toys, the Tree of Hope will be asking people to donate money so it can buy gift cards. It has set a monetary goal of $50,000 for this year’s campaign.

We need your help now more than ever

For many this will be a disappointment. The experience of buying toys and delivering them to the Tree of Hope was special. It is the meaning of the Holiday Season. It is part of your family’s faith, beliefs and tradition. It was the thing your group, workplace or church did together.
Despite this, we’re asking for your continued support.

COVID-19 has been a challenge for the kids and families we serve. Their needs are greater than ever. And they deserve the best holiday season we can give them. At the same time, the Pandemic has shut down many of our normal fundraising programs. We’re not raising as much money as we need to make things like the Tree of Hope happen. This new change will be a difficult challenge. Perhaps the greatest challenge since we started our first holiday appeal a few years after we were created in 1894.

We’ll only be able to make this happen if you support us. Hundreds of children are counting on us. Can you continue to count on you?

What you can do to help

There are many ways you can help us in this difficult time:

  • Make a plan about collecting money instead of toys. Did you buy toys as a family? Tell your kids now about the change and help them understand why collecting toys might not be safe in this Pandemic. Did you support the Tree of Hope as a group, workplace or a church? Start a discussion now with your members about what you can do to help.
  • Make an early donation online with a credit card. We need donations now to pay for the changes we’ll be making before the campaign starts in November. As an early donor, you will be ensuring our success.
  • Keep in touch on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin. Follow our social media for the latest updates on the Tree of Hope as we work through some of these changes. Tell your friends and get them engaged on help the kids we serve. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT