Volunteers wrapping up Giving Tree program

Volunteers were hard at work Monday, Dec. 9, wrapping a boom box, Big R gift card, board games and many other presents as part of the annual Mancos Giving Tree Program.

Through the program, Mancos volunteers are taking toys, clothes, electricity and food to their neighbors again this Christmas.

"I think it's important in a world that's gotten so callous that people still care about each other," said volunteer Ginny Getts.

About 150 Mancos residents were nominated to receive gifts this year. The interest in the program increased from 32 nominations last year to 50 this year, event organizer Denise Rentz said. Rentz said she expects the Giving Tree headquarters at 111 N. Main to be stuffed with gifts.

The giving trees are set up around town and are decorated with ornaments listing requested gifts and a general description of the recipients, ranging from small children to residents of The Valley Inn.

Event Organizer Jeanne Freed said three days before the deadline the ornaments will be pulled from the trees and gifts will be purchased with cash donations or selected from the small in-house stock.

"Unfortunately a lot of people don't get chosen, so we have to do a lot of it in-house," she said.

Freed said after a few years of helping to organize the project she started purchasing gifts from estate sales during the summer to have gifts on-hand at the last minute.

"It gets fast and furious here during the last week," Freed said.

The Giving Tree program includes all family members and Getts and Patricia Burk are dedicated to making sure all the pets have a happy holiday as well.

The two ladies will purchase treats for 18 dogs, 14 cats, 2 horses and a cockatiel this year.

Getts has been involved with the project since its second year and it was her idea to include pets.

"Animals are part of the family," Getts explained.

Ornaments can be picked up from giving trees at the P&D, the Columbine Bar, Zuma, Mancos Valley Bank and the Mancos Library.

The deadline to turn in gifts and the corresponding ornaments is Dec. 20.

Volunteers are still needed to buy, wrap and deliver gifts. If you would like to donate money checks should be made payable to Mancos Valley Resources.

For more information call Lori Elworthy at 799-0159.