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Be a Part of the Tradition

posted by Katie Slade on Thursday, November 10, 2016

There is no better way to celebrate the holidays than by giving to others. The feeling you get when watching someone open the perfect gift you found or knowing you gave a gift to someone who wouldn’t normally receive one is heartwarming and hard to match. 

That’s why, over a decade ago, the staff at EPI took it upon themselves and created the Giving Tree to see that the individuals we support, who would typically not receive a gift, are remembered around the holidays. The Giving Tree holds tags which communicate modest needs (such as winter coats, clothing, music CDs) to an army of secret Santa’s hoping to brighten someone’s holiday.

Though the amazing support of our community, staff, local business and organizations, we were able to fulfill all 227 needs on the tree last year. You searched high and low, braving the stores and sales to ensure everyone who had a need on the tree didn’t go without.  And for that, although it doesn’t seem like enough, we say a heat felt, "Thank You."

We would like to invite you to be a part of the tradition once again this year. Our list is continuing to grow. With your support, we know everyone will have a gift to open during the holidays.

So, how can you be a part of this fun tradition?  The Giving Tree begins on Friday, November 18th and gifts returned by Wednesday, December 14th.  There are a number of ways you can participate. 

  • Stop by any of our EPI offices and take a few needs directly from our trees!
  • Contact us through Facebook and we will let you know a need or two that needs to be fulfilled.
  • Let us do the shopping for you! Visit to designate a monetary gift to Giving Tree.

Giving Tree needs also make great gifts.  You can fulfill a need on the Giving Tree in honor of a loved one and we will give you a card to give to them.  Or, you can make it a fun family outing.  Grab a handful of needs from the tree and go out and shop for the gifts together!

We have to take a moment to say a special thanks to the following businesses and organizations in our community who are supporting the Giving Tree this year by hosting a tree.

  • Ameriprise - Larry K. Fox & Associates (open to public)
  • CBE Companies
  • Harrison Truck Centers
  • Waterloo Police Protection Association

Be a part of the Giving Tree and bring a smile and joy to someone this holiday season. 

If you have any questions about the Giving Tree, please feel free to contact us!  Happy Holidays!

About The Author

As the Executive Director of Exceptional Persons, Inc. (EPI), Katie believes in EPI's vision of - working together we will realize a future where all people are recognized and valued – encouraged and supported to live, work, and grow – in their communities. At EPI w ... read more