Charity offers Christmas alternative with ‘Giving Tree’

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A charity has come up with an alternative to sending Christmas cards.

For £25 a personal message could feature on the ‘Giving Tree’ at the Manx Blind Welfare Society’s headquarters in Onchan.

The ‘Giving Tree’ was unveiled earlier this year as part of the society’s 80th anniversary celebrations, to provide an opportunity for permanent tributes and recognition of support to be displayed.

The large wooden sculpture, which has taken pride of place at Corrin Court, was handmade by the Manx Workshop for the Disabled and funded by a bequest.

Since April, people have been buying specially-made acorns and leaves and having them engraved with a personal message to be added to the sculpture as a lasting commemoration of people’s support for the society.

So far almost £4,000 has been raised to fund the society’s work providing free services and support for hundreds of blind and visually-impaired people across the Isle of Man.

Manx Blind Welfare Society events organiser Debbie Thomson said: ‘Individuals and organisations have been making donations in exchange for a leaf or an acorn and having them engraved with the names of people, organisations and businesses, memorial tributes or just simple messages. Whatever the words chosen, each has been added to the Giving Tree ensuring every contribution will always be part of our future.’

She added: ‘At this time of year we know many people decide to make donations to charity instead of sending out cards, and are looking for Christmas gifts they can give which have real meaning. Purchasing an acorn or leaf for the Giving Tree on behalf of a friend, family member or other loved one is not only a unique gift, which you can personalise with any message, but will also make a huge contribution to helping the society.

‘Money raised by the Giving Tree helps fund the provision of assistive technology, sporting activities, social inclusion, our audio library and recorded news service, as well as many more life-enhancing services.’

To find out how you can contribute to the Giving Trees, contact Debbie by emailing dthomson@mbws.org.im or calling 674727.

Donation forms can also be collected from Corrin Court and downloaded from www.mbws.org.im

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