While Buchan may have just said goodbye to the summer, organisers of the Peterhead and Fraserburgh Gift Tree are busy organising the launch of the 2015 Christmas appeal.
One of the most important initiatives of its kind in the North-east, the annual Gift Tree appeal provides local families and individuals across Buchan with a little bit of extra support during the festive period.
Last year, local generosity saw more than 800 referrals provided with Gift Tree assistance to the tune of around £25,000 in terms of gifts and food support.
In its first year of providing foodstuffs, a total of 285 hampers were produced for the Peterhead and Fraserburgh area which met the demand of the referral numbers and fed 1,064 people with just under 4,300 meals.
The Gift Tree parcel appeal involves members of the public selecting a tag from one of the trees then buying just one extra gift during their Christmas shopping up to the value of £10 be it a toy, book, game, clothing, toiletries or local business gift card for vulnerable children or young adults.
Now, while the familiar Gift Trees with tags will be put up throughout November at key locations across the North-east, the immediate focus is firmly on launching food drives to create essential festive hampers.
Ken Duncan of Peterhead Projects’ Here for You Partnership said: “This project in previous years has witnessed overwhelming generosity from our community and I am hopeful that this year will be no different.
“It may seem early to be launching a Christmas appeal, but valuable lessons learned from last year’s food hamper drive have taught us to start gathering donations far earlier to provide us with early indications of any shortfalls.
“We are very fortunate in that we have businesses, schools, churches and community groups which have shown a willingness to support us once again and we hope the Buchan area will also rally round once again.”
If you would like to be involved in hosting a food drive, hosting a Gift Tree or volunteering in any way later this year, contact Ken Duncan directly on 01779 478950 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .