BVI News

Tree of Hands goes int’l – 2,000 kids targeted

Tree of Hands said it is targeting 2,000 children to deliver gifts to this holiday season.

Tree of Hands is a local outreach group of volunteers and businesses who collect gifts for children then distribute them to needy youngsters at Christmas time.

Alexandra Durante, who took over the 25-year-old charity group from her mother, Carole Durante, said things are going to be different this year.

In light of the recent hurricanes, Tree of Hands made an international appeal for assistance and, thus far, it has been receiving gifts in the hundreds.

“We have been collecting gifts internationally which is great right now because people want to help but they don’t know how to. So, I asked them to just get gifts for Tree of Hands,” Durante said.

“We have raised at least 1,000 gifts and we have more coming in each day so we are looking at maybe 2,000 kids,” Durante told BVI News recently.

She said Tree of Hands will deliver presents during a children’s fun day being put on by the organisation this year.

“A lot of kids are affected by Irma and it is kind of unfair to say one is less privileged than the other so we are going to have a kid’s fun day on December 9th.”

She said the event will either be hosted at the Tortola Pier Park.

Durante said transportation will be provided for children living on the sister islands of Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke.

Gifts will be issued at the event between 2pm and 4pm.

Vow to ‘keep it going’

Durante, in the meantime, said she plans to continue the Tree of Hands initiative for years to come.

“My mom started it and I grew up doing it and I cannot not do it. I can’t bear the thought of letting kids down for Christmas when they are used to it every year. So I want to keep it going. Especially after the hurricane; getting all the kids together and having a fun day where they can forget that they have crappy living situations,” she said.

Durante (right) shares camera time with this  youngster.

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