Tree of Life and The Village host community Christmas distribution

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, December 14, 2022

VALLEY — More than 5oo local people were present for Saturday morning’s first-ever Christmas season distribution by Valley Community Outreach (a.k.a. The Village) and the Tree of Life, Inc. in the parking lot at Valley Sportsplex. A long line of vehicles was lined up on Sportsplex Drive prior to the 10 a.m. till noon giveaway, and people stood in long lines for a chance to pick up some free items only two weeks before Christmas.

“We have items for all ages.” said Tree of Life founder and director Jennifer Hughley. “We have been planning this all year. We are glad to see such a big turnout.”

The Tree of Life, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that was established in 2014. Its primary purpose is to connect individuals with disabilities to vocational services and to help economically disadvantaged individuals by connecting them to the proper tools and resources.

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The Tree of Life has an office off O.G. Skinner Drive in West Point.

Valley Community Outreach is made up of adults who grew up in the Valley, love the place they call home and want to give back to the community. Members have teamed with the Tree of Life in past community distributions and have taken part in litter pickups, school supply drives, voter registration drives, winter coat drives, Thanksgiving food drives and Christmas toy drives.

“We want to thank Walmart, Amazon and Bed, Bath and Beyond for providing the items we are giving away today,” said Clint Gilder of The Village. “It’s great to see all these people here today and so many smiling faces, 

The items being given away included lots of toys, some children’s bikes, stroller sets, household appliances, apparel, bath towels, shoes, and some winter coats.

“We thank the Lord for having the opportunity to do something like this today,” said Bridgette Heard Wilson of The Village. “There’s a great team effort here today between The Village and the Tree of Life. That’s good for the community, and we are so pleased to be part of it.”

The Tree of Life and The Village are hopeful such events can restore hope to people who have dealt with the Covid calamity and are now dealing with a higher cost of living brought on by inflation.