FANWOOD, NJ -- Today is the deadline for donations to the Fanwood Police Dept. and PBA Local 123's annual Giving Tree that will benefit the Parents as Teachers program in Union County. Unwrapped gifts (with the tag attached) are due by this afternoon at 4 p.m. at the Fanwood Police Dept. 

"In many cases, whatever gift you give will be the only one under the tree for a child," said PBA President Phil Ugone, who spearheaded the effort.

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The Parents as Teachers home visitation program provides services to 60 families in Union County. The anticipated goals for the program are to improve pregnancy outcomes, increase parent involvement in children's care and education, improve child health and development, prevent child abuse and neglect, and increase school readiness. 

"There were a lot of requests this year -- nearly 150 altogether," said Dianne Howarth, who is helping to coordinate the effort at the Fanwood Police Department. "The community really responded. When they found out that things were slow going, business owners, individuals, Luke Fuggett, Chris Aversa, Shawn Johnson and Paul Belford of the SPF PAL came by and took the remaining gift tags. I want to thank everyone and remind them to drop the gifts off today by 4:00 p.m."