For more than 20 years St. Joseph parishioners have provided for the wider community through the Giving Tree.
Through this long-standing holiday tradition we partner with our Outreach Partners to get what's needed directly to those in need. Each Outreach partner provides 50 tags - that cover the Giving Tree in the vestibule of the church. Parishioners are invited to participate by fulfilling a specific request and then bringing the gift back to the church or to the Parish Center. Tags will specify when the gift is to be wrapped or not. Our high school group, the Voice, then organizes the gifts for distribution.
Some gift requests are very general as the needs are persistent, especially during the winter months. Socks, warm hat, and sleeping bags are always needed. Some gift requests are very specific as needs arise, such as a vacuum cleaner for a L'Arche house or a printer for a non-profit. Gifts range in value from five dollars on up and so everyone in the parish can participate in bringing Christmas cheer to those in need.
This year, 2017, the Giving Tree starts November 26, the Solemnity of Christ the King and we expect to collect upwards of 500 gifts over the course of the season. Participating Outreach Partners and parish ministries might include Westside Baby, St. Francis House, St. Martin de Porres Shelter, Jubilee Women's Center, Chief Seattle Club, St. Joseph Winter Shelter, L'Arche, Recovery Cafe, Noel House, Peace on the Streets by Kids on the Streets, and St. Vincent de Paul.