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Gift Tree program again supported by Anstaett Gift Tree Fund

Mon, Dec 12th 2022 02:00 pm

Ninety-six area families will have a brighter Christmas this year thanks to Interfaith Caregivers Gift Tree program and support from the Carroll and Dolores Anstaett Gift Tree Fund at the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation.

The Carroll and Dolores Anstaett Gift Tree Fund, established the late Carroll Anstett and his wife Dolores in 2004 to provide annual support to the Gift Tree program, which assists the less fortunate in the community by providing holiday gifts at Christmas.

Each year families that are served by the program are listed for “adoption” in the Olean Times Herald. Community members then shop for and purchase gifts for their adopted family.

This year 92 families were listed for adoption in the Olean Times Herald. Four needy families were added later.

This year’s grant of $1,803.69 allowed for the purchase of Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce (GOACC) gift certificates, which were then provided to the Gift Tree families most in need.

“These certificates were added to the gifts for the families most in need, largest families, and those with extreme circumstances,” said Julie Hall, Interfaith Caregivers executive director. “The flexibility of the [GOACC] certificates are so helpful for these families. They can be used for food, gas,or any other needs.”

According to Julie Hall, the Gift Tree program also worked to lead collaboration among groups that provide holiday season assistance (such as the Salvation Army, the Santa Sheriff program and more) to increase the efficiency of each program.

That work came at a critical time, as financial hardship has increased the demand for such programs.

“Increased collaboration among gift-giving programs has definitely helped all of us to serve the most families possible in Cattaraugus County,” she said. “By eliminating families being served multiple times, we have been able to reach more families and in more remote parts of the county. We will continue to collaborate in the future to continue to maximize resources and program efficiency.”

CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchheit praised the efforts of Interfaith Caregivers and the Gift Tree program to not only meet community need, but to partner with fellow organizations to ensure that their programs had the needed impact.

“The Gift Tree program warms our heart each year, and we know that this year the need was even greater,” said Buchheit. “We are so proud to be able to lend a hand to programs like Gift Tree that make sure the holidays can be a happier season for families facing financial strife.”

Since the Gift Tree fund was established at CRCF in 2004, the fund has provided over $33,683 in grants that serve to provide for Gift Tree families.

Donations can be made to the Carroll and Dolores Anstaett Gift Tree Fund at CRCF, 301 North Union St., Suite 203, Olean, NY 14760 or online at cattfoundation.org.

The Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation is 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).