Share by donating items to those less fortunate

The holiday season traditionally brings with it the joy of sharing. However, for some families in Minnesota, the holiday season can be filled with stress of wondering how to put food on the table or how to provide children with necessary clothing and winter items.

In the spirit of giving, various donation sites are available in Sleepy Eye to help those less fortunate.

The Giving Tree at Sleepy Eye Public School is taking the place of classroom gift exchange. All students and staff are encouraged to donate canned foods or a monetary gift that will be donated to the Sleepy Eye Area Foodshelf.

A decorated upside down Christmas tree in the elementary Title 1 area is where students, staff, parents and community members may bring in up-to-date food shelf items to donate. A monetary donation jar has been placed by the elementary office.

The goal is to collect 1,000 or more canned food items. The donations will be accepted until Dec. 21. On that date, if the goal has been met, kindergarten through sixth grade students will celebrate in the cafeteria with cookies, milk and holiday songs.

Sleepy Eye Public School wants to make a difference in the lives of others through the powerful action of giving.

St. Mary’s School also has two giving trees where donations are being accepted. There is one tree in the elementary and one in the high school. Jessica and Rebecca Schmitz of the Stark Happy Hustler 4-H Club and Catholic Financial Life (formerly Catholic Knights) will be collecting new packages of socks and underwear and new or gently used coats, hats, mittens and scarves in all sizes to send to the Rochester site of the St. Vincent DePaul Society.

The St. Vincent DePaul Society is a national organization that helps people who are struggling with homelessness, loss of jobs and the many other difficulties in life causing people to need a helping hand.

The donated items will be distributed to many people in Minnesota who are in need.

Donations can be dropped off at St. Mary’s Church or School. The elementary students will be collecting items until Dec. 21, however donations for the high school giving tree can be dropped off until Jan. 1.

The parish effort allowed for over 37 large bags of clothing to be collected and distributed last winter thanks to generous donations.

For more information on St. Mary’s Giving Trees, contact Jessica or Rebecca Schmitz at 794-7570.