by Michele Nicosia

Advent giving treeThe Lord is with us, Alleluia!!!  

During Advent we honor and remember the birth of Christ our Lord, and there is no better way to do this than by giving gifts and food to the needy. Seasonal generosity is made easy by contributing food to the Hunger Barrel and buying the suggested gifts for the three organizations that benefit from The Giving Tree.

Pick up Gift Tags at the Giving Tree trifold in Albright Parish Hall from Sunday Nov. 16- 29, which explains the groups and their needs. Pick up one, two or three tags and shop for the gifts listed below. To facilitate sorting for their proper destination, tape an identifying tag to each large item, or ID tag to a bag containing multiple items going to one group.

Gift cards for ECM are strongly suggested; they allow the ECM staff to get additional gifts in needed sizes so that all children get appropriate gifts, avoiding hurt feelings. The gift cards can be put in a sealed envelope marked “ECM Gift Card” and put in the financial lock box outside the office.

Do not wrap any gifts you donate to ECM, Grace Hill or Christmas on the River. Gift bags included with your donation will be helpful when gifts are finally sorted and prepared. ECM gift wrapping will be Dec 15 at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Webster Groves, and volunteers would be appreciated; see the notice on the Outreach board for detailed information.

The Giving Tree will be in Albright Hall starting November 30 for gift returns, with any remaining ECM and Grace Hill ornaments on it. Seamen gifts must  be returned by November 30, for mailing December 1. Grace Hill and ECM gifts must be returned by December 14 for the December 15 wrapping party.

Thanks and blessings to everyone who generously gives to the needy this holy season.


Bring the following gifts to Grace’s Giving Tree by December 14:
  • Gift Cards:
    WalMart,  Target,
    Sports Authority, Amazon,
    Dick’s Sporting Goods

Or any of the following:

  • African-American Hair Products
    (available at Deals and DollarTree)
  • Superhero coloring books & crayons
  • Individually wrapped hard candies (no gum/lollipops)
  • Sports Team Tees or Sweatshirts L / XL
  • Basketball Shorts L / XL  (tan, black, grey)


Bring the following gifts to Grace’s Giving Tree by December 14:
  • Toys & games for boys or girls


Bring the following gifts to Grace’s Giving Tree by Nov. 30:
  • Knitted scarfs and hats (per online directions)
  • Wrapped candies and gum
  • Lip balm (unscented/colorless)
  • Heavy duty hand lotion
  • Playing cards
  • Personal-size facial tissue
  • Activity/Puzzle books, Sudoku, WordFinder
  • Microwave Popcorn
  • Recent DVDs (first run, new or used)


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