By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — The town is in a giving mood.
The municipal center has a tall Giving Tree in the main lobby to promote in the community and help for those in need.
Every year, the town staff organizes the giving effort. The tree is filled with cards listing specific items someone need want this holiday season.
This year’s donations will benefit the Sonshine Soup Kitchen and Derry Community Fund. Donation boxes are also located at the municipal center to help support the community.
There is a need this year for winter outerwear for all ages, personal care items and gifts for teenagers.
“It’s nice,” said Jill McLaughlin, human services administrator. “The tree has been there every year as long as I’ve been here.”
Town staff members are very generous, she said, but the public also is encouraged to donate this holiday season.
It’s also an easy visual for people who regularly stand in line to pay their taxes or register their vehicles. They can just grab a card off the tree, purchase the items, then return them to the town offices.
McLaughlin said circumstances are very tough for many people, especially at this time of year.
“It’s not just financially,” she said, “but it’s also due to losing loved ones.”
McLaughlin said the human services office sees many people needing emergency assistance for fuel, food, rent or medication.
She said the Giving Tree offers an additional way to give back and help
Tax-deductible donations are also accepted at the Sonshine Soup Kitchen, 4 Crystal Ave., Derry, in person or by mail.
The soup kitchen serves free meals daily at First Baptist Church on Crystal Avenue.
Anyone needing help through the Derry Community Fund can stop by the human services office for information.
The last day to drop off donations is Dec. 12 for the Community Fund and Dec. 18 for the Sonshine Soup Kitchen.
The municipal center is open Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Wednesday until 7 p.m.