Tree of Hope seeks to brighten holidays for less fortunate families

Adam Prudhomme

Family and Children’s Services Frontenac Lennox Addington (FACSFLA) went digital for this year’s Tree of Hope campaign launch, doing so online via live feed on YouTube.

Quite the contrast to how it was done when it first started over 100 years ago, but the goal remains the same. They’re asking for the public’s help to put toys, food, clothing and other essentials under the tree for the kids they serve in the Frontenac-Lennox Addington area.

“This is something we’ve been doing in Napanee and our jurisdiction for 100 years,” said John Suart, manager of community relations with FACSFLA. “There are kids that need toys yes but also other things. The biggest thing these days are socks and underwear. We’re doing winter clothes, boots, things like baby gear, bigger items like cribs and strollers.”

It isn’t always about material items either. 

“(One girl) wants to take her mother out to an art class so they can do something together,” said Suart. “We’re going to try and make that happen. That’s the kind of thing these families want. They want something special and that doesn’t always mean a fancy toy.”

Another example was a young boy who asked for restaurant gift cards so that he could go with his family to get a burger. 

There are a few ways to get involved, whether it be asking for the name of a child to sponsor, donating money or items. For more information, visit Items and cash can also be dropped off to 99 Advance Ave. in Napanee. 

Last year they helped 850 kids last year, about 100 of which were within Napanee. They’re aiming to raise $45,000 this year as well.

“This is our community and these are our kids and we’re going to do something to help them,” added Suart.  

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