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Anstaett Gift Tree Fund bolsters Interfaith Caregivers Gift Tree program

Tue, Dec 17th 2019 03:00 pm

With the help of $1,721 in support from the Carroll and Dolores Anstaett Gift Tree Fund at the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation, the Interfaith Caregivers Gift Tree program will again be giving disadvantaged area families a brighter Christmas this year.

Each year the Gift Tree program connects area families referred by a case worker with community members who adopt and shop for the families’ during the holiday season.

The late Carroll Anstaett and his wife, Dolores, so loved the program that they together decided to establish an endowment that would provide annual, lasting and sustainable support.

Since 2004 the fund has provided $28,422 in grants to the Gift Tree program, including this year’s grant total of $1,721.

Grants from the fund are used to purchase gift certificates from the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce (GOACC) that are then given to Gift Tree families to supplement the gifts they receive from adopters. The fund also provides a grant supports for the program’s administration.

The GOACC gift certificates provide flexibility for the families, said Megan Taylor, Interfaith Caregivers executive director, and allow the families to purchase essentials like groceries from local stores, which can be just as much a blessing as toys and clothes for needy families around the holidays.

According to Taylor, the program served 106 families this year, which means over 400 people in Cattaraugus County.

“Thank you to the Community Foundation and the Anstaett’s fund for its continued support of the Gift Tree program,” Taylor said. “It allows us to do even more for local families in need each year.”

CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchheit stressed the importance of programs like Gift Tree this time of year.

“Unfortunately we see that there is a need for programs like this every year, but we are blessed that programs like Gift Tree step up to close the gap in our community and provide for families who otherwise may not be able to put presents under the tree,” she said.

“Hopefully one day there will be little or no need for programs like this that support families who have fallen on hard times,” she added. “But until that day you can see how important an investment like the Ansaett’s fund at CRCF is – especially when you consider that the fund has grown over the years and can provide sustainable, expected funding every year.”

Donations can be made to the Carroll and Dolores Anstaett Gift Tree Fund at CRCF, 301 North Union St., Suite 203 in Olean or online at cattfoundation.org.

For 25 years, the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation has been the area’s supportive, responsive and trusted community foundation. Established in 1994, CRCF is growing good by connecting donors to the causes they care about most in the region. Grants from the foundation support many areas, including education, scholarships, health care, the arts, community development, human service, and youth development. To learn more, call (716) 301-CRCF (2723), email [email protected], or visit online at www.cattfoundation.org. CRCF is also on Facebook (facebook.com/cattfoundation) and Twitter (@CattFoundation).