The businesses at the Philbrook Place in Bethel are hoping to brighten the holiday season for needy children in the area by partnering with customers on a ‘Giving Tree.’

Organized by Final Touch owner Jessie Herling, the tree will hold tags each representing a gift for a child from one of 12 families in the community (who will remain anonymous). Customers may choose a tag to purchase its gift, and at the same time be entered in a drawing for gift certificates from area businesses.

“Every child in the household under the age of 18 will be receiving something they need (boots, coat, hat, ski pants, etc.) and something they want or interests them (Legos, dolls, make-up, jewelry, etc),” said Herling. She estimates there will be between 60 and 80 items.

The tree will go up Nov. 25 and will be located to the right of the main stairs in the store. The drawing will take place Dec. 23. So far there are more than a dozen gift certificates and more are being sought.

Other Philbrook Place business owners who are helping out in various ways include Sara Hemeon of Little Bits Consignment and Elements Gallery; Haley Tanguay of Haley’s Hoops and Community Sports; Kelly Ratoff of Bethel Toyz and Trendz and Kassia Mirski of Revival Adult Consignment and Furniture.

Acting as a liaison with the families is Katina Colombotos from Crescent Park School, Herling said.

This is our first year putting this together, thus the reason we are doing it small this year, kind of a test run,” said Herling. “As long as this season is a success we hope to help more and more children in the area during the holiday time.”

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