Emmelia Letendre, left, student customer representative at the University of Maine at Farmington’s University Store, stands next to Aimee Degroat, University Store manager. UMF Image

FARMINGTON — The University Store on the University of Maine at Farmington campus is abuzz with the holiday spirit, as members of the campus and community aim to make sure there is something under the tree for everyone.

In its 15th year, the annual Giving Tree features a small tree decorated with tags expressing the Christmas wishes of children and families throughout the area.

This year, the holiday tradition is in partnership with the Farmington Elks Lodge and Operation Santa Claus. Members of the campus and local community are invited to take a tag to fulfill a special request or to drop off a new, unwrapped gift of items like clothes, shoes and winter wear, from infant to adult sizes, as well as toys and books, .

“In a year where so many things have changed, people’s generosity has only increased, and it is so inspiring,” said Aimee Degroat, University Store manager, in a news release from the university. “As soon as the tree went up this year, people started taking tags to fill. We have gone through at least 60 and now are on our second round of tags.”

Emmelia Letendre, a student from Berlin, New Hampshire, who works in the University Store, thinks the Giving Tree is the perfect way to give back and support those within the community who otherwise may not have been able to provide Christmas gifts for their family.

“With this being my first year here at UMF, it has been extremely heartwarming to see the generosity and excitement from our students and staff to help those who are less fortunate, especially during this time of year,” said Letendre.

According to Degroat, donations came from throughout the campus and community.

For more information, email Degroat at [email protected].

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