Shelby Township Giving Tree supports Samaritan House online or in person

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published December 6, 2021

 Shelby Township Hall is offering the opportunity to help the local community for the eighth straight Christmas season through its annual Christmas Giving Tree.

Shelby Township Hall is offering the opportunity to help the local community for the eighth straight Christmas season through its annual Christmas Giving Tree.

Photo provided by Shelby Township

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Shelby Township Hall will be offering the opportunity to help the local community for the eighth consecutive Christmas season with its annual Christmas Giving Tree.

The Giving Tree will benefit the Samaritan House Food Pantry once again, which helps individuals and families in need across northwest Macomb County. Samaritan House works with 16 churches, some of which are in Shelby Township and Utica.

Collection is underway and will continue until Dec. 23. Residents can help neighbors in need with donations of nonperishable food and personal care items.

The township’s Community Relations Department put together a list at shelbytwp.org/Christmas so residents can find local stores that offer items to support the Giving Tree. There is also a link at the site to an Amazon wish list for the Giving Tree for those who prefer to purchase items online that will be shipped to the Township Hall and join the other Giving Tree gifts before being delivered to the Samaritan House in January.

The township reported that, in 2020, it delivered more than 9,500 items gathered for the Giving Tree to the Samaritan House.

Kathy Wojcik, the executive director at Samaritan House, said via email that each year, Shelby Township gathers supplies to help hundreds of families, many of whom are living right in Shelby Township.

“Year after year, the residents, police, fire and administrative staff of Shelby Township step up and collect items for our pantry — everything from laundry and dish soap to nonperishable items to stock our pantry. Last year, we were able to help 1,361 families. These donations are vital in our effort to continue to serve those in need right here in our community,” she said.

She said the donations from the township grow each year.

“It seems as though, every year, the donations that Shelby collects are larger and larger; we are very grateful that we are chosen year after year to be recipients of these generous donations,” said Wojcik.

In Shelby Township, Samaritan House works with local sponsors such as Shepherd’s Gate Lutheran Church, St. John Vianney Catholic Church, St. Thomas Presbyterian Church and the contributions of other churches, businesses, civic organizations and individuals.

Shelby Township Deputy Supervisor Chelsea Oland appreciates the success of the program.

“It is always exciting to see the area around the Giving Tree fill up with items throughout December,” she said in a press release.

Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis said this is also an opportunity to help the local economy.

“Whether it is purchasing items for the Giving Tree or doing your Christmas shopping, I want to remind everyone how important it is to support our local businesses. The Giving Tree is a great opportunity to go out to a local grocer or small business, make a purchase and then donate it to the Samaritan House. That one act of kindness will have an exponential impact on our terrific township,” he stated in the press release.

The Shelby Township Supervisor’s Office, Community Relations Department and Human Resources Department coordinate on the Giving Tree project every year.

“Giving back to those who are in need is important for us. To be able to come together, whether they’re township residents or township employees, and be able to give back to our community is very special,” she said.

The Shelby Township Hall Giving Tree is located at 52700 Van Dyke Ave. The Shelby Township Library at 51680 Van Dyke Ave. and the Shelby Township Activities Center at 14975 21 Mile Road are also donation sites. For more information, call the Supervisor’s Office at (586) 731-5154 or email info@shelbytwp.org.

For more information on other ways to support the Samaritan House, call (586) 336-9956, email samaritanhouse@sbcglobal.net or visit samaritanhousemichigan.org.

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