Gift guide lends hand to local organizations

By Jaime Polmateer

November 18, 2014 9:35 AM

The Olive Tree released their first annual Lloydminster Community Gift Guide last week, which will help support two selected not-for-profit organizations each year.

The first organizations that will benefit from the guide are the Salvation Army Food Bank and the Avery Outreach School.

According to a press release, the guide is like a catalogue and lists roughly 25 programs where money can be donated, ranging from buying a haircut for a child or adult for $30, feeding a family for a week for $175 or even building a foundation for $5,000.

“The community gift guide is a really simple, straightforward way to support local not for profits,” said Becky Schille, director of The Olive Tree.

“There are other charities worldwide, or Canada-wide, like Foster Parents Plan and Plan Canada who do a similar thing and so we thought it would be nice to give people the option to buy locally.”

The Olive Tree is an organization that offers help to people in the community who need a little extra support. Aside from the new gift guide, they also run a thrift store, a soup kitchen and help people find other various resources they may require.

Though the organization is fairly new, starting up in spring of 2013, Schille said they are expanding quite quickly.

“We started in the spring just serving barbecue style outside and then we were blessed with a building for a year at Family Life Fellowship church,” she said. “Now we’re moving on into three different neighbourhoods in this community and we’re really excited to expand like that.”

Schille began the organization with co-founder, Gale Willis, when they met a single mom in need of support. In looking for resources, they found some good ones but also noticed some things that were missing and took it upon themselves to find ways in filling those gaps.

Lending a hand to one individual seems like a humble beginning for an organization that’s growing so fast year by year. The group chose Olive Tree for their name because historically an olive tree is a symbol for peace and prosperity. Schill feels they identify with that and that the symbolism coincides their mission.

Those interested in a copy of the Lloydminster Community Gift Guide can pick one up in-store or visit the Olive Tree website at www.theolivetreelloyd. ca.

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