Tags of 2,000 needy kids remain on tree in Modesto

pguerra@modbee.comNovember 29, 2012 

DN Soroptimist tree

DEBBIE NODA/dnoda@modbee.com, JoAnn Found, and Patty Good, co-chairs for the annual Soroptimist Giving Tree, setup the Christmas booth, Nov. 16, 2012, at the Vintage Faire Mall 2nd floor.

DEBBIE NODA — Modesto Bee

— Nearly 1,000 tags — representing nearly 1,000 needy children — have been taken from the Community Christmas Tree at Vintage Faire Mall.

That’s the good news. But with three weeks to go in the 27th annual holiday drive, there are almost 2,000 tags left, said JoAnn Found, co-chairwoman of the Soroptimists’ project.

“This year we noticed that many of the families coming to the tree brought their children with them and the kids are having a lot of fun in the tag selection process,” Found said in an email. “Our gratitude is extended to these families not only for their thoughtfulness and generosity, but also for the wonderful example they are for their children.”

Car clubs, businesses and individuals have sponsored children, taking a tag from the tree at the mall. Several Vintage Faire retailers offer discounts for those shopping for children from the tree. Shoppers return the tags with new, unwrapped gifts to the kiosk — a volunteer team takes care of the gift-wrapping.

Found said the Soroptimists are still hoping to get families or groups to “adopt” families of six or seven children. If nobody picks those up by Wednesday, the individual tags will be placed on the tree.

The tree and kiosk are located on the mall’s second floor, near the entrance to Forever 21. The club also seeks cash donations to get gifts for tags not taken or taken and not returned.

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