A second annual community-wide campaign to encourage the spirit of holiday giving to those Andover residents most in need will begin with the lighting of the Giving Tree at the Andover Community Hub the weekend following Thanksgiving.
Members of the community are encouraged to drop off donations at the Hub in the form of gift cards for those who may be struggling financially any time between Saturday, November 27 and Wednesday, December 15. Donations can be put through the decorated mail slot to the right of the Hub’s front door.
In addition to the Giving Tree, and just for fun, there will also be a decorated wooden letterbox in front of the Hub for sending letters to Santa Claus at the North Pole.
The COVID pandemic and the ways in which it has impacted all our lives is still making life especially difficult for some members of the Andover community. Last year’s Giving Tree project collected almost $5,000 in gift cards from well over 100 Andover residents. The gift cards were passed along to the AE/MS staff to distribute to families who they knew could use some extra help during the Christmas season, or as needs developed throughout the rest of the school year.
Donations in the form of gift cards are encouraged because of the flexibility and ease with which recipients can use them, whether for gifts for their own families or to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and household goods.
Donors are also encouraged to keep local businesses in mind when purchasing gift cards, since COVID has also been tough on many small businesses.
Residents are encouraged to drop off their donations as early in the season as possible, but even last-minute donations are appreciated to meet last-minute needs or to be held by school staff for distribution when future needs arise.
When considering the amount of a gift card, it’s suggested that smaller denominations are preferable. For example, several $25 or $50 cards as opposed to a single $100 card are more flexible in meeting more and varying needs.
Residents who might prefer to mail gift card donations rather than leaving them at the Hub may do so by sending them to the Andover Community Hub, PO Box 157, Andover NH 03216.