Every holiday season for 15 years, Union County Sheriff’s officers have set up their “Tree of Hope” in the courthouse seeking donations of toys and clothing for needy children throughout the county. Each year the response has been overwhelming.
The “Tree of Hope” was first planted in 1997 when officers approached Sheriff Ralph Froehlich and related troubling stories of children who were going to experience a less than happy holiday season. The children the officers encountered were homeless or living in shelters, were victims of domestic violence or medically fragile. Their parents or guardians did not have the financial ability to provide holiday gifts.
Every year since the Sheriff and the “Tree of Hope” committee have erected a tree in the Union County Courthouse featuring paper ornaments. Volunteers make the ornaments and write a particular gift on each one.
“These caring officers do a tremendous job in helping these children,” Sheriff Ralph Froehlich said. “Even during tough economic and personal times, it is important not to forget those kids who are less fortunate.”
Monetary donations to help provide additional gifts are also being sought.
Contributions of money (tax-deductible), toys and clothing can be sent to: Union County Sheriff’s Officers Tree of Hope, Union County Courthouse, 2 Broad St., Elizabeth, N.J., 07207. For more information, call the “Tree of Hope” hotline at 908-629-2158.