CANTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - A thief tried to steal Christmas from hundreds of children in St. Lawrence County - but he failed.
“The Giving Tree” is back, stronger than ever.
The Giving Tree, based at the Church and Community Program in Canton, distributes toys and clothing to 400 children at Christmas. But this year, someone stole $4,000 worth of pajamas and toys from them.
No one has been caught, but the community has fought back.
“We’ve had donations from people not even in the area who have heard about it, businesses, local individuals, local groups, organizations," said Frances Bailey, Giving Tree director.
A Rochester factory owner heard about it and sent boxes of sweatshirts. The St. Lawrence hockey teams pitched in with toys. And local businesses like Coakley Home and Hardware are helping.
“It was so disappointing to hear this year that there was a robbery," said Diane Foote, Coakley’s office manager. "And it has been wonderful to see how the community has come together to help that program.”
Coakley is donating all proceeds from the sale of Christmas trees. Girl Scouts will hold a drive-thru pajama drive at the Best Western December 7. And there is still a need for warm children’s clothing and other items - they can be dropped off at the Church and Community Program in Canton.
Bailey said she’ll remember this year for the stress. And something else - “I will also remember how happy I am to live in a community where people take care of each other.”
The Giving Tree requests gifts people have purchased with tags be dropped off at the Church and Community Program by December 6.