by Lisa Tome
There was a lot less giving in southern Cecil this year.
Those who oversee the Giving Tree at Bo Manor middle and high schools reported that there were fewer donations this year.
Each year, the school and community donate to "adopt" families for Christmas. The only criteria to getting on the adoption list is that at least member of the family attends either the middle or high school. The school accepts donations within the building and also gets help meeting the need from Chesapeake City Fire Company and VFW.
"When you adopt a family, you adopt a whole family not just a kid who goes to this school," said Crystal McEnaney, who coordinates the effort with fellow school staffer, Dawn Gremminger.
People make donations by choosing a paper tree ornament. That ornament has what a child needs or wants.
"This year was not as good as year's past," said Gremminger. "I'd have to say it's the economy."
In all, 20 families, with 56 children were served.
"The response hasn't been as good as it has been in the past. Usually, all the ornaments (with wishes) are taken. This year, we have had about 50 left on the tree," said McEnaney.
After the sorting was finished, organizers planned to go shopping to fill in the gaps. They wanted to make sure everybody got something.
"People don't want to buy clothes and they don't want to buy for the older kids. The older kids are what we have left," said McEnaney. "We're not complaining but we've noticed that it's been really low this year."