GREENVILLE — The Darke County Commissioners made the short trip across the street to Montage Cafe Monday for an annual ritual kicking off the campaign to warm local children on long winter days. Monday began the Mitten Tree campaign.
The Fish Mitten Trees bear empty branches waiting to be filled with donated gloves and mittens. These donations will be distributed to warm the tiny hands of the children enrolled in the Darke County Head Start programs.
In addition to the Mitten Tree at Montage, 525 S. Broadway, there also are Mitten Trees located inside Brethren Retirement Community, 750 Chestnut St., Greenville, and in the Ben Franklin store, 4 W. George St., Arcanum.
Many churches and organizations also erect trees to collect mittens and gloves from their members. The donated items are then passed on to Fish to be distributed to the children in the Head Start program.
The Mitten Tree has been an annual holiday project of the local Fish organization for almost 50 years.
“The Mitten Tree provides the opportunity for people of all ages and incomes to participate in the true spirit of the season,” said Marilyn Delk, the Fish volunteer coordinating the Mitten Tree project. “We sincerely hope that our generous neighbors will once again this year be able to spare the relatively small amount required to purchase a pair of mittens or gloves and bring joy and warmth to local children who may not receive many other gifts this Christmas.”
To best meet the needs of children directly served by Head Start programs, donated gloves and mittens should fit boys and girls age 3-5; however, donated items in larger or smaller sizes will be shared with Head Start families. Donations should be made by Dec. 14 to allow for distribution prior to Christmas.
For more information about the Mitten Tree project, contact Marilyn Delk at 937-548-2482.
Fish is an ecumenical volunteer organization that responds to emergency food needs. The Fish Choice Food Pantry, located at 400 Markwith Avenue, is open Mondays from 1 to 2 p.m., Wednesdays from 10 to 11 a.m., and Fridays from 4 to 5 p.m. No appointment is necessary to visit the food pantry, and clients are eligible for help once every month. The Fish phone number is 937-548-2000.