by Kate Hill
CAZENOVIA — In preparation for the holiday season, the Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce (GCACC) and CazCares food pantry and clothing closet are partnering for the fifth year to support local families in need through the “Giving Tree” initiative.
This year, Giving Trees are positioned in nine businesses throughout the village. Each tree features ornaments labeled with gift requests from local children of all ages. Customers are encouraged to select an ornament, purchase the listed item, and donate it to help make a holiday wish come true.
Gifts should be dropped off at Community Bank at 48 Albany St. or at any other Giving Tree location by Dec. 1.
“We also added a QR code this year so people can go directly to CazCares’ [Amazon] wish list and order online,” said Community Bank Senior District Manager Barbara Houghton, who is GCACC’s Giving Tree chair. “All gifts will be delivered to Community Bank and dropped off to CazCares. We would love people to support local first, but we wanted to give another option.”
The event started on Nov. 1 and ends on the day of the Cazenovia Christmas Walk, Dec. 1. Unwrapped gifts can be dropped off while visiting Santa at Community Bank following the tree lighting.
“This is my favorite thing I volunteer for,” said Houghton. “I feel like with the world the way it is, [it’s nice to see how] our small community pulls together and makes a difference for our local families. I am so proud to be part of this every year. The staff and I at Community Bank just love seeing the kids with Santa and knowing that we could help make local families have a better Christmas. We can’t wait for the Christmas Walk.”
According to CazCares Client Services Director GiGi Redmond, the Giving Tree event typically benefits over 100 families. Last year’s effort produced more than seven carloads of gifts and helped over 200 kids to have a better holiday.
Gift tags are available at 20|EAST, The Brae Loch Inn, Cazenovia Abroad, the GCACC office, Cazenovia Jewelry, the Cazenovia Public Library & Museum, Community Bank, Miori Martial Arts, and The Brewster Inn.
For more information on the GCACC, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit cazenovialife.com.
CazCares is located at 101 Nelson St., Cazenovia. Learn more at cazcares.org