HARWICH — The Harwich Employees Association is showing its generosity heading into the holiday season by making donations to four local charities.
“Every year we allocate a certain amount of funds to charities,” said Wellesley Marsh, the association's president. “This year we chose four charities.”
She said the local union has chosen to give $300 each to the Mitten Giving Tree; The Family Pantry of Cape Cod; The Children's Center, the preschool established under Harwich Ecumenical Council for Housing; and the Friends of Harwich Youth's new Harwich Children's Fund.
The Mitten Giving Tree is run out of the community center. Community Center Director Carolyn Carey said the program is sponsored by the state Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Children and Families. It's part of the Family to Family Program.
Carey said 45 mittens with the names of children, their age and an item they would like to receive are placed on a tree at the community center. Donors can take the mittens and purchase the gifts; those can be a practical item like a coat or a gift. The gifts should be brought to the community center unwrapped; they are given to social workers to distribute. She said all the gifts go to children on the Cape, many to kids who live in Harwich who might not otherwise receive a present.
The Friends of Harwich Youth is starting a Harwich Children's Fund this holiday season with the goal of getting outerwear and gift cards for kids in need. Friends clerk Sheila House said the group provides a lot of assistance and referrals to resources for parents and families. The Harwich Children's Fund is similar to the Chatham Children's Fund, she said, helping people in need during the holidays.
Marsh said the donation to the Family Pantry will help fund the agency's needs and the donation to the Children's Center, the preschool run under the umbrella of Harwich Ecumenical Council for Housing, will help families in need with early schooling opportunities.