Local charitable organization Mancos Giving Tree is bringing back its annual charity program for its 21st consecutive year.
The program provides gifts, food and utility vouchers to Mancos Valley residents who need support during the holiday season.
The Giving Tree hangs paper ornaments with written requests for donations on designated Christmas trees around Mancos provided by seven of the program’s partner organizations.
Donors can pick up the ornaments, buy the requested items and drop them off with Giving Tree so the organization can distribute the donations.
Giving Tree coordinator Donna Watkins told The Journal that the program served 45 families in 2016, equating to 128 people that year. She said that the program served 46 families in 2017.
According to this year’s application for donations, “the project is primarily for children 22 and younger, residents over age 65 or anyone who is disabled.” Mancos residents may submit applications for other residents.
How to request assistanceMancos residents can fill out an application for assistance through the Giving Tree program at select Mancos organizations, listed below. A copy of the application is also available online, attached to this story.
This year, the deadline for applications is Dec. 8.
Applicants are asked to provide two to four gift requests, marked as “needs” or “wants,” per individual in their household. Applicants are also asked whether they need help paying a utility bill or want to receive a Christmas dinner basket, provided by the Mancos United Methodist Church.
According to Giving Tree, the names of people requesting and receiving gifts are not shared with donors. Only the age and gender of the recipient are shared by Giving Tree, along with the requested items.
Giving Tree contacts gift recipients when their requests have been fulfilled, and applicants may pick their gifts up at the Mancos Opera House or have them delivered to their residence if they cannot pick them up.
How to provide supportGiving Tree coordinator Watkins reviews applications as they are submitted and, assisted by a small committee of volunteers, creates paper ornaments with written information about the requests so potential donors know what specific gifts to buy.
These ornaments are then hung upon “giving trees” inside businesses around Mancos, listed below. Residents can drop in, pick up the ornaments, shop for the listed items and return the items to the Mancos Giving Tree organization
Donors are asked to return gifts to Giving Tree accompanied by the ornament naming the request on or before Dec. 15. Donors are asked not to gift wrap donations before drop-off so that Giving Tree can review donations before wrapping them.
If you are interested to volunteer with Giving Tree by wrapping presents once they are received, you may contact Watkins at DonnaWatkins.firstname.lastname@example.org or by call or text at 303-956-5656. Gift wrapping supplies may also be donated to Giving Tree.
Donors who do not wish to shop for gifts directly may mail a check to Mancos Valley Resources at PO Box 204, Mancos CO 81328 or donate to the organization online.
Giving Tree locationsApplication pickup and drop-off locations:
Mancos schools, Mancos Public Library, Mancos branch of the Dolores State Bank, The Mancos Visitor’s Center
Ornament (request) pick-up locations:
P&D Grocery, Zuma Natural Foods, Mancos branch of the Dolores State Bank, Columbine Bar, Artisans of Mancos art gallery, Absolute Bakery, Mancos Public Library
Gift drop-off locations:
Coldwell Banker Heritage House, Artisans of Mancos art gallery, Raven House Gallery, Columbine Bar, Mancos Opera House
Families and individuals may pick up donated gifts from the Mancos Opera House.