The City of Kettering asks residents to help with making children’s holidays brighter


Christmas tree with presents - Britta Bergmann licensed from Deposit Photos

Kettering, Ohio – Do you remember that special gift as a kid that just lit up your Christmas and made your holiday season extra special. For me, it was the year that I received a box stuffed with cassette tapes (yes, I am that old) of music that I loved and the year I received a telescope. I was lucky – I had a family that could afford to make the holidays pretty darn special every year. Unfortunately, some children never experience that joy I felt in receiving those cassette tapes or the telescope because their families simply cannot afford to buy presents because they struggle just to maintain the necessities of life.

The City of Kettering has designed a program to help make some children’s Christmas holiday season just a bit brighter, and they need your help to make those Christmas dreams come true.

Starting November 8, 2021, the City of Kettering placed giving trees in several of its facilities around the City. Each giving tree has special tags on them that identify a child’s sex, age, and gift ideas for the child. Kettering hopes that City residents will get a tag and buy a gift for these needy children. You should return all unwrapped gifts with the tag to one of the participating City of Kettering facilities by Sunday, December 5, 2021.

The gift giving program benefits children in the Kettering City School District whose families cannot afford to buy gifts. Kettering School guidance counselors select the families who participate in the giving tree program. To be eligible for the giving tree program, families must also be receiving services from the free/reduced cost lunch program. Kettering School District guidance counselors work with the families to fill out the paperwork to identify the best gifts for the participating children.

Once the City receives the gifts, volunteers sort the gifts and package them for each family. Volunteers then deliver the gifts to the guidance counselors who work with families to have the gifts picked up. The program does not wrap the gifts because the child’s parent will wrap the gifts, which gives the parents a sense of ownership in the gifts they are giving their children.

You can pick up gift tags at both the North and South buildings of the Kettering Government Center - 3600 Shroyer Road, the Rosewood Arts Center - 2655 Olson Drive, the Kettering Fitness & Wellness Center – 3351 Shroyer Road, and the Kettering Recreation Complex – 2900 Glengary Dr. You can also deliver your unwrapped gifts to any of these facilities before the December 5, 2021, deadline.

If you can’t get out and shop but would still like to help make a child’s Christmas holiday special, you can also donate cash or gift cards and volunteers will go do the shopping for you. You can send donations to the Kettering Parks Foundation, 3600 Shroyer Road, Kettering, OH 45429. Kettering asks that you include your contact information with a donation. Kettering will then send you a thank you that will include information about how your donation was used to brighten a child’s holiday.

If you would like more information about the Kettering giving tree program, you can contact Alison Pifer at

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