The success of the Central Lincoln County YMCA’s Community Giving Tree is due to the great collaborative efforts among the CLC YMCA, Damariscotta Baptist Church, Damariscotta Montessori School, the Damariscotta Police Department, the Damariscotta town office, the Ecumenical Food Pantry, Great Salt Bay Community School, the Jefferson town office, Jefferson Village School, Lincoln Academy, Maine Behavioral Healthcare, Miller Elementary School, the Newcastle town office, Nobleboro Central School, the Nobleboro town hall, Second Congregational Church, South Bristol School, Stepping Stones Mental Health and Counseling Inc., Sweetser, and YMCA Child Care.
Applications were received by 75 families in need, and generated an amazing 390 gift requests, two items for each youth — one item they needed and one they would like to receive. The tags were added to a beautiful Christmas tree at the CLC YMCA.
Members of the community took tags, purchased the requested item, wrapped the gift, and returned it to the Y for sorting and distribution to families. Above and beyond the 195 youth who are getting their wishes granted, there were many people who came in after the deadline. For those families, members of the community stepped up to take the entire family and purchase the requested gifts.
Newcastle Chrysler also donated more than 50 toys in support of this effort.
Other organizations displayed trees with tags at LincolnHealth, Mail It 4U, Supplies Unlimited, and Blush Boutique.
“This truly is one of the most rewarding collaborative programs the Y has participated in,” said Karen-Ann Hagar, YMCA coordinator of the Giving Tree. “The churches, local businesses, and organizations, as well as our own members and community members, who have taken and purchased gifts from the 390 tags are to be commended. Finding those in need, unfortunately, was simple. Finding those to help, thank goodness, has been the most rewarding part of this entire experience.”
Meagan Hamblett, CLC YMCA CEO said, “I am so proud to know that our YMCA is leading up to our impact statement created through our strategic planning process of being a key collaborative leader improving the quality of life for all by being the champion of youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. The Giving Tree is a perfect, visible, heartwarming example of just this.”
For information about any of the Y’s programs and events, go to clcymca.org.