‘Giving tree’ offers gifts, chance to give to South Whidbey charities

To spread the Christmas cheer, some donate their money and time to charities and some buy decorative holiday gifts for their friends and family.

With the Giving Tree, South Enders can do both at once.

The Giving Tree is decorated with handcrafted ornaments made by the staff and volunteers of 17 non-profit groups on Whidbey Island. The displayed ornaments are there for the purchasing, and all proceeds go toward the organization that made the ornament.

“It’s less about the money raised and more about getting information out about the variety of non-profits and the resources they offer,” Goosefoot Director of Programs Marian Myszkowski said.

There are two giving trees located in the Bayview Cash Store and Island Athletic Club in Freeland. Cash store visitors may take the ornament to four shops located in the cash store: Side Market, Salon Bella, Bloom’s Winery and Taproom. The front desk will handle ornament purchases at Island Athletic Club.

The organizations set suggested minimum donations for the ornaments that range from $5 to $25. This year’s participants include Oasis for Animals, Whidbey Island Nourishes, Ryan’s House for Youth, South Whidbey Children’s Center and many more. Information on each non-profit is available to take home.

More than $3,000 was raised from both trees last year according to Myszkowski. This is the 13th year the Giving Tree is displayed.

“The tree is a wonderful statement about the generous and caring community on Whidbey Island,” Myszkowski said.

For more information, call (360) 341-4145.