Warm hands are happy hands

The "Happy Hands" mitten tree at the Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitors Center.

The "Happy Hands" mitten tree at the Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitors Center.

— For the tenth year, the Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center will be sponsoring its annual “Happy Hands Mitten Tree” program to benefit those in need this winter.

Through Saturday, Dec. 31, donations of winter gear can be placed on the tree located inside the Visitor Center on Broadway. The items can be purchased or handmade, but must be new. Last year, more than 200 items were donated. The Visitor Center hopes to set a new record for this year.

“Over the past few years, it became apparent that a few people who frequent the center were in need of warm wear,” said Johnnie Roberts, program coordinator for the Visitor Center. “Some single parents with small children even asked if they could have an item [off of the tree].

Saratoga residents in need of warm gear are invited to the Visitor Center to pick items they may need off of the tree. The rest is given to local charities to disperse the items as they see fit.

Roberts said Broadway is a high traffic area during the holidays and many who visit the center or use the bus stop nearby do not have warm clothing or the funds to purchase it. She said adding some hats or mittens to the tree is a small way to make a big impact in someone’s life this holiday season.

“Many people out and about can use any and every kindness in today's challenging world,” said Roberts. “And we are happy to be the source of that kindness in keeping with the spirit of the season.”

Winter gear can by placed on the “Happy Hands Mitten Tree” in the Visitor Center at 297 Broadway, Monday through Saturday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. For more information call Johnnie Roberts at 587-3241.

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