It began as The Mitten Tree. Every December for many years Christian Education Board and later the Outreach Board set up an artificial Christmas tree in the Bess Fulton Room and decorated it with hats, mittens, gloves, scarves. These were distributed to local schools and charities to warm hands and hearts. In recent years the Mitten Tree donation opportunity has stretched to include the full year as we recognize the need in Michigan for warm apparel well after Christmas.  To facilitate collection of these types of items, a series of wooden boxes in the design of an evergreen tree allows easier placement of donations.  This is located in the same place as the Christmas Mitten Tree in the Bess Fulton room. NOW in the Annex for easy access during the week.

We are always requesting donations of diapers and feminine hygiene products as well as paper towel, toilet paper, napkins, plates, etc. Note that DIAPERS are in especially great demand, the larger sizes, 4, 5, or 6 and will be accepted EVERY month. And anything you wish to donate is appreciated!

Often we collect non-perishable food and personal care items to donate to Helping Hands for the move into their new building. A wicker basket next to the elevator is the year round collection point for any non-perishable food donations that you might want to make, or food can also be left at the Giving Tree display.

Simple household tools: hammer screwdrivers, pliers, and especially needed are good quality can openers all make good Giving Tree donations.

March we assemble shoeboxes of games, toys, small individual wrapped snacks for our “Shoebox Ministry”.  Shoe boxes are spring break entertainment and distributed thru Eaton Clothing and Furniture Center as well as Siren Eaton Shelter for children not lucky enough for a family vacation over spring break.

The Giving Tree donations for February and March is once again sheets and towels.  In 2019 it became a highly successful Children’s bedtime theme of kids pajamas/books and included hand made pillowcases.  Packaging of these gifts was combined with a celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday party during Sunday School March 3rd that year.

August and September we focus on socks and underwear, especially for students returning to school. October is towels and linens.  November is always offerings of the Brown Bag — food and grocery items and December is White Bags — toiletries and health items. In 2020 we collected 62 brown bags and 24 white bags, distributing them to Helping Hands, SIREN/Eaton Shelter and Eaton Furniture and Clothing Center.

The 2020 winter Coat Drive was very successful with 112 coats donated thru SIREN/Eaton Shelter and Eaton Clothing and Furniture Center.  This was made possible by a generous grant from the local Meijer store as well as congregation donations of money and gently used coats.

Thank you for all of your support of this church’s Outreach Mission Board!