(XENIA, OH) — The Greene County Combined Health District has already put up a tree this year in hopes of getting a head start on the holiday season and the cold winter months to come. You see, this is no ordinary tree. It is the annual Mitten Tree decorated with mittens, hats, scarves and gloves for Greene County families in need.
The Mitten Tree project, now in its 26th year, was developed in 1985 by Elaine Hughes, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner with the Health District’s Well Child Clinic. Hughes had heard about the idea and recognized a need in Greene County for this service. The very first tree was a full size artificial one decorated with small, homemade felt mittens that clients could pick out and trade in for the real pair.
Over the years, thousands of mittens, gloves, hats and scarves have been donated to the tree from churches, schools, individuals, businesses, knitting guilds and other service organizations. To this day, monetary donations or actual items are still welcomed annually to decorate the now wooden tree that hangs on the wall just inside the main doors to the Health District. The Greene Community Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Health District, manages all donations for this project.
If you are interested in supporting this project either monetarily or with a donation of hats, mittens, gloves or scarves, please contact Carol Sue Knox or Laurie Fox at 937-374-5600.