Giving Tree, October 19 – November 30

St. Mary of the Hills annual Giving Tree program begins this month.  In past years, your generosity has given thousands of individuals a bit of cheer for the Christmas season.  For many of these individuals, your gift was the only gift they received.

Dates: Monday, October 19, 2020-Monday, November 30, 2020

Due to COVID-19 virus, we will not be displaying the physical Christmas trees in the Narthex with gift tags, but there are TWO options for you to still participate in this program.

  1. Gift cards through Sign-up Genius: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090c4fa5ac2ba20-general
  1. Donation through parish’s online giving system: https://www.myowngiving.com/Default.aspx?cid=1138
    • If you would like your donation to go to a specific organization, please indicate that in the notes section. There is a list of these organizations below.

Gift cards (unwrapped) can be dropped off in any of the following ways:

  1. Parish Office (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) from 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  2. Narthex collection (Thursday evenings) from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
  3. Offertory Collection baskets (Sunday mornings) before 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM masses
  4. Drive-up Communion collection basket (Saturday evenings) after 4:00 PM mass

Following is a list of this year’s recipient organizations and a brief description of how they help the less fortunate or how they are in need:

Capuchin Soup Kitchen

Located in Detroit, the Soup Kitchen collects items every family needs which cannot be purchased with Food Stamps consisting of twin set sheets, children's PJ's, blankets, sets of towels, and pillows.

Catholic Community Response Team

Founded in 2004 by the Pontiac Area Vicariate to provide support for those in crisis primarily in the city of Pontiac.  Working with the homeless, the mentally ill, the recently released and impoverished families, CCRT provides Christian compassion, and relief to those whose basic needs are not often met.  The Giving Tree gifts will be delivered to needy families who visit the Catholic Community Response Team facility.

Children’s Village

A division of the County Executive’s Department of Human Services, Children’s Village is the County of Oakland’s residential facility for children and youths who have been referred by the Oakland County Family Court, District Courts, Circuit Court, Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, the Family Independence Agency, and various courts outside of Oakland County.  The Village maintains 220 beds in multiple living units located on a campus setting adjacent to the County Service Center.   

Crossroads Care Center

The pro-life, nonprofit, Christian organization Crossroad Pregnancy Center is now doing business as Crossroads Care Center.  The name change reflects the expansion of services which are all provided free of charge.  These services include pregnancy tests, limited ultrasounds, STD testing and treatment, peer counseling, material assistance, childbirth classes, lactation consultation, post-abortion support, male counseling, and SHARE (Sexual Health and Relationship Education). Located in Auburn Hills, Crossroads’ vision is to glorify Christ by encouraging a culture of life, hope and health that values every human being.

Friends of Foster Kids

A nonprofit organization. They provide a “Christmas” for foster children in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties, who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect and placed in temporary housing or shelters. In a season for family, granting a child’s wish speaks softly of unconditional love from people who care.

Grace Centers of Hope

Located in the midst of the community at 35 E Huron Street, Pontiac, in a campus-like setting, Grace Centers of Hope provides refuge, safety and security, a home for those without one, and a wide range of programs to help people in need rebuild their lives and re-enter society as productive and responsible citizens.

Grovecrest Assisted Living (Supportive Care

An assisted living facility at 121 Prall Street, Pontiac that offers activities like Bingo, Bible Study, Music therapy from local churches, and Monthly Pet therapy at their location for residents. These activities generally allow residents to maintain healthy lifestyles by encouraging movement and socializing with their peers. The facility offers common spaces indoors to support the need to socialize with other residents.

Jail and Outreach Ministry

An all-inclusive ministry organization located in Pontiac.  They serve and minister to all individuals affected by crime - victims, offenders, families.  They provide hope and healing through an approach to the total person that encompasses quality care, attention to individual spirituality, emotional well-being, and human dignity.

Neighborhood House

Founded by communities of faith, located in Rochester, services the greater Rochester area since 1968.  They aspire to be the primary referral source for social services in the greater Rochester area; a number of additional services are offered for those in need.  Giving Tree gifts will be distributed to needy families within the Rochester area.  

St. Jude Food Pantry

A nonprofit organization located in Detroit.  The food pantry was founded approximately 20 years ago by a group of parish members that saw a need for community outreach in an ever-changing area.   They assist those in need of food, clothing and advice.  St. Jude Food Pantry will distribute the Giving Tree gifts to needy people within the vicinity.

St. Vincent de Paul

A society of men and women who offer service to the needy and suffering within our community.  The St. Mary’s SVdP Conference helps the less fortunate with rent, food, gas, utilities, car repairs and medicine. The Giving Tree certificate presents will be given to needy families in the greater Rochester area and will help make their Christmas a joyful one.

St. Damien of Molokai

One of three churches organized as the parish of St. Damien of Molokai. It is the oldest working Catholic Church in Oakland County, located at 46408 Woodward Ave Pontiac, MI 48342.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul Justice Initiative Prison Outreach

Located in Detroit, the Society became involved with ministry to incarcerated Adults and Youth. Their mission is to serve as the Archdiocese of Detroit prison ministry to newly released men and women coming from federal, state and local correctional facilities with basic human needs such as clothing, hygiene items, winter coats, and shoes. 

Wee Care

Wee Care is a nonprofit ongoing outreach program of Right to Life – LIFESPAN located in Livonia.  They have provided warm blankets, tiny clothing, diapers and so much more to more than 500 families each year.  Giving Tree gifts will be distributed to families who are in desperate situations.