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Old 12-19-2014, 10:34 AM   #21
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I haven't seen this in our local Walmart but when DH was working his office did a gifting tree. He worked in a county agency for developmentally disabled children and adults. Many of the staff would choose to buy for the children who had a gift request on the tree but he made a point of buying for an adult, usually a male. They would ask for socks or a sweatshirt or hat and gloves, sometimes a radio or tool. DH really enjoyed shopping for these and he knew most people would pick the kids.

Our bank used to have a Toys For Tots collection box and since our kids loved Lego I would buy a Lego set and drop it off. I haven't seen a Toys For Tots box in a while.

I keep extra cash on me this time of year and look for a Salvation Army bell ringer.

Married, both 61. DH retired June, 2010. I have a pleasant little part time job.
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Old 12-20-2014, 12:24 PM   #22
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I've seen Giving Trees at Church but never in a WalMart. I wish they would do that here. I may speak to the manager about doing one next year.

As for other charitable giving (Toys for Tots, etc) I make cash donations. I figure they have more buying power than I do. Plus my company matches the donation. I'm going to miss that matching gift once I retire.

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Old 12-20-2014, 12:55 PM   #23
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I am enjoying reading all the posts in this thread.

The Portland (Oregon) area has giving trees all over. I have really enjoyed buying toys over the years. The last five years we instead adopted a family through a school where my partner volunteers. We get the name of a family in need and their wish list from the school.
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Old 12-20-2014, 02:49 PM   #24
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My young bride is a school teacher. Before every Christmas, the teachers' union conducts a statewide program where (typically elementary) teachers submit names of needy students in their classes, together with an information sheet with sizes, favorite colors, favorite toys, etc. Virtually all teachers in the state then pick a child or children for whom to buy Christmas presents. While you can choose to shop for only one child, they encourage teachers to pick a whole family together, so that the siblings will receive roughly equal treatment. For over 20 years, we have shopped for 3-5 kids in a family. We usually buy them each a winter coat, a sweater or hoodie, pants and a shirt, a book and a toy or piece of sporting equipment (ball, glove, etc). Sometimes we've bought blankets when they were requested.

My church also has White Gift Sunday, which uses a giving tree like those described above. We work with the local DCF office to identify the needy families.
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Old 12-20-2014, 03:13 PM   #25
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Have done angel trees. Usually buy lightly used coats from Goodwill or Salvation Army, then donate them to a coat drive. Donate to the local police/fire food drive.

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Old 12-20-2014, 08:02 PM   #26
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You all are warming my l'il ol' Grinch heart reading these posts.

Well done to all the Elves and Santas out there.


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