ELIZABETHTOWN - When most people trim the tree, they do so with lights, ornaments and some tinsel.
Jane Hooper trims her tree at Elizabethtown Community Hospital with mittens and winter hats.
"The Elizabethtown Community Hospital Auxiliary has established a way of donating winter clothing items to children and families in need," said Hooper, who is the director of community relations for ECH. "It's a great way to help families who may need new winter items and a chance to give back from the community."
The tree is located in the hospital's main lobby.
"The public is encouraged to adorn the tree with newly-purchased or handmade hats, mittens and scarves," Hooper said.
"People who need the items are encouraged to take them, and there is no charge for the items."
Auxiliary members thought that the mitten tree, which was constructed for them by Dale Boardman of Willsboro, a 4-foot tall tree with "branches" that hold the winter clothing items, was an ideal way to help out those who use the hospital.
"The hospital is a place where many different people come together, including people who are in a position to be very generous and people who appreciate their generosity," said Auxiliary member Christine Benedict. "Our idea is that people give to the tree, and it will give to others."
The public is encouraged to donate new, unused winter items through February.
"They can do so by visiting the hospital's lobby and simply hanging the items on the tree," said Hooper.
For more information on the ECH mitten tree, contact the hospital's community relations department at 873-3003 for information.