Robyn Bryant
@ your library

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December 5, 2012
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Giving back tree @ Eagle Public Library

Now that December is here, many of us are putting up Christmas trees with ornaments. Eagle Public Library is no exception.

We have displayed at least one or two artificial Christmas trees every holiday season for many years. These have traditionally been found by our library's fireplaces on the first and second floors.

This year we are offering something different. On Dec. 6, we are receiving a living fir tree, donated to us by Hospice of the Valley. It will be admired by many people this month while it is housed in our public meeting room.

Library staff member and Young Adult Specialist Dale Green came up with the idea of a "Giving Back Tree" at the library. Handmade ornaments will adorn this special tree, and the public will be invited to participate in a unique exchange that will assist those in need.

Many creative hands and minds have been hard at work putting ornaments together. Some pieces were crafted by library staff members at a special "after library hours FAC." Little helpers have also been creating ornaments. Story-time children decorated "mittens" to hang in the tree. On Dec. 6, Art in the Afternoon elementary-aged children will be given an assortment of art supplies, such as CDs, "jewels," foam holiday shapes and more. Young adults in grades 6 and up have already offered their creative talents at library programs.

The only catch is that children don't initially take home their ornaments. The public (or parent) may come in and "purchase" a selected ornament from the tree by donating three or more canned food items. The library will insure that collected non-perishable goods will go to the food bank of the Vail Valley Salvation Army.

Dale says that needed items include beans, rice, pasta and cereal. Three items is the library's suggested donation. One non-food item, which is also on the Salvation Army's wish list, is diapers.

If you missed one of the library's crafting program opportunities and would like to add your holiday flair to our tree, please do so. You may make ornaments on your own to adorn our library tree. This will be a nice way to have an informal ornament exchange, while also helping out others this holiday season.

This may be of interest to you if you work with a group of crafty children. In the past, we have displayed Girl Scout projects on our trees. So if you are a teacher, Scout leader, or child care provider, please contact us if you'd like to set up a time to decorate our tree.

So far, our ornaments consist of owl pine cones, stars, skis, snowshoes, flowers, birds, mittens and sparkly, round CDs. As most of us know, when creative minds get to work, possibilities are limitless.

Unlike the beloved children's classic, "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein, this is a "giving back tree" where we can reciprocate by helping others. Special thanks to Hospice of the Valley for the donation, and to Dale for coming up with a unique and thoughtful idea.

For more information, call me or Dale at 328-8800. Or drop by the library, chat with one of our staff and check out our marvelous "Giving Back Tree."

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The VailDaily Updated Dec 5, 2012 12:39PM Published Dec 5, 2012 12:36PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.