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  • Writer's pictureLorna Hamilton

Vermilion Public Library Mitten Tree Warms Hearts This Holiday Season


The Vermilion Public Library Mitten Tree is up and ready to be decorated with items. Photo submitted

As the holiday season approaches, the Vermilion Public Library invites the community to join in the spirit of giving by contributing to their Mitten Tree initiative. From November 24 to December 15, the library will be collecting outer and inner wear, specifically scarves, mittens or gloves, socks for ladies and children, and long johns’ underwear.

The library began fostering a tradition of goodwill through its Mitten Tree, a symbol of warmth and generosity in 1996 under then Librarian Karla Palichuk. In previous years collections have been dedicated to supporting Santas Anonymous, but that ended a few years ago.

“We stopped the mitten tree for a few years ago upon the request of the Lions when they moved to a different Santa’s Anonymous format,” explained Vermilion Public Library Manager, Stuart Pauls.

This year the library is extending its outreach to Hearts and Hands, an organization dedicated to assisting those in need of warm clothing during the chilling winter months, as well as crisis packages.

“This is our first year that the mitten tree items will go to Hearts and Hands. Betty Thomas, founder of Hearts and Hands indicated to us that they always need warm clothing for their winter gear kits,” said Pauls.

Pauls also noted that the mitten tree is only one part of how libraries like theirs help address winter blues stating, “We’re a great warm-up spot for those who need to get out of the house or out from the cold in the winter. We’ve got great programs and events all year long to offer creative outlets for residents.”

If you are looking for a way to give back to your community this holiday season the mitten tree would be a rewarding way for you to do so, you can drop items at 5001 49 Ave, Vermilion between the hours of 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday, Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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