Nampa/Northern Sunrise Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) is kicking off an initiative to try to help make peoples’ Christmases merrier and brighter.
FCSS has a Christmas Tree in its office to hold gently-used or new winter clothing items for their Giving Tree Campaign.
Director Amber Houle says the Giving Tree started in 2018 and was then called the Mitten and Toque Tree, evolving to the Giving Tree in 2019.
“We accept lightly-used and washed and new gloves, mittens, toques, scarves, face warmers, balaclavas, coats, and snow pants for all ages,” says Houle.
“We recognize that not everyone can afford warm winter items and our winters can be long and very cold. Many students in our area attend school without mittens, or they lose them frequently which can be a hardship to families.”
Houle says there are quite a few lower income families in the region that benefit from the variety of programs offered through their FCSS branch. Houle explains many members of the community require help to collect proper winter gear to keep warm in the winter months.
“The items that are collected are made available to those in need,” Houle says. “When we receive children’s items, we work with the local schools to ensure students have access to warm clothes. We also work with Sagitawa Friendship Society and local groups that support people experiencing homelessness.”
People can also call ther Nampa FCSS Office to arrange a time to come in person to select their items.
Houle says winter items can be dropped off at the Nampa FCSS offices, and people are encouraged to call (780) 322-3954 first to arrange a drop-off time.
“The Giving Tree program ensures that our residents have access to warm clothes during the colder months,” she says. “No one should be left in the cold without suitable clothing.”
In addition, the program is also collecting gently-used blankets that will be donated to In the Woods Animal Shelter. The blankets are used for animal bedding in the colder months.