UNION COUNTY, NJ - Every holiday season for 18 years, Union County Sheriff’s Officers have set up their “Tree of Hope” in the courthouse seeking donations of toys and clothing for needy children throughout the county. Each year the response has been overwhelming.

The “Tree of Hope” was first planted in 1997 when officers encountered children in the courts who were going to experience a less than happy holiday season. The children the officers encountered were homeless or living in shelters, were victims of domestic violence or medically fragile.  Their parents or guardians did not have the financial ability to provide holiday gifts.

Every year since the “Tree of Hope” committee have erected a tree in the Union County Courthouse featuring paper ornaments. Volunteers make the ornaments and write a particular gift on each one.

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Monetary donations to help provide additional gifts are also being sought.

Contributions of money (tax-deductible), toys and clothing can be sent to: Union County Sheriff’s Officers Tree of Hope, Union County Courthouse, 2 Broad Street, Elizabeth, N.J., 07207. For more information, call the “Tree of Hope” hotline at 908-629-2158.