Tree of Sharing
The Tree of Sharing, now its own independent non-profit charity, started as a project of the Westminster Congregational United Church of Christ in 1980. Joined in sponsorship in 1982 by KREM TV, it has continued to serve a growing number of agencies and individuals in the Spokane community. An entirely volunteer-run organization, it is constantly looking for more opportunities to serve.
With the continued support of Westminster Congregational United Church of Christ, KREM TV, Asuris Northwest Health, and the Washington Air National Guard, Tree of Sharing will provide more than 7,000 gifts at Christmas time.
The gift requests come through 60 different agencies. The agencies are responsible for identifying their clients who they feel are at risk of being forgotten at this important time. The individual’s request is printed onto a tag and displayed at Tree of Sharing tables.
The Tree of Sharing tables, which are manned by volunteers from the Friday before Thanksgiving until mid-December, are prominently located at River Park Square, Spokane Valley, and Northtown Malls. Concerned individuals and families visit these locations and pick one or more tags, purchase the requested gift and then return it to the mall.
The Air National Guard transports the gifts to a donated temporary warehouse where they are sorted. The agencies distribute the gifts to their clients in an appropriate ceremony. Meanwhile the good people of Spokane return to their own residences knowing that they quietly did their part for our often forgotten friends in our community.
For more information check out the Tree of Sharing website
Westminster has been supporting the Tree of Sharing in a variety of roles since its inception – over 30 years! Here’s a few of the members helping out this past year:
Lori Aukstikalnis and Claudia Hume staff the
booth at River Park Square.
Doris Holdaway helps a woman select a tag from among those still needing gifts.
Outgoing Tree Director Jon Louis checks in
gifts down at the warehouse.