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A Donation to Trees of Hope Spreads Cheer to Domestic Violence Survivors
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By Anya Ellis, Berkeley Correspondent
Published 4 months ago on
December 16, 2023

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Marjaree Mason Center is asking the community to spread holiday cheer to survivors of domestic violence through the Trees of Hope program.

“Children specifically don’t always understand why they are not at home. The ability to provide these gifts, something they specifically asked for, really makes them feel that their needs and wants matter.” — Ashlee Wolf, Marjaree Mason Center

Individuals and families escaping situations of domestic abuse often endure financial struggles, making the holidays particularly difficult. Parents often feel isolated and scared, and children can struggle to understand why they are not home.

“It’s a very confusing and just difficult in general time… In the media and the movies, we talk about togetherness over the holidays and ‘home for the holidays’ and family. And when your home is not a safe place and you’ve made the decision to leave it … it can be a very complicated time,” says Ashlee Wolf, director of philanthropy and communication for the center.

Trees of Hope is a seasonal tradition at Marjaree Mason, which compiles wishes from those receiving services and uploads them onto a registry. This includes kids’ toys, such as dolls, Lego sets, sports gear, drawing supplies, etc.

“Children specifically don’t always understand why they are not at home. The ability to provide these gifts, something they specifically asked for, really makes them feel that their needs and wants matter. They are coming from a world of chaos, most times, where what they want and need has not been a priority,” Wolff says.

The registry also consists of clothing items, tools, cooking utensils, electronics, and more at a wide range of prices. This link will take you directly to the registry.

Center Is Serving 600 Adults and Children

Filling these wishes will allow the nearly 600 adults and children the Marjaree Mason Center is currently serving through various programs to have something to open on Christmas. It will show those struggling that people care about them and they have a brighter future.

“We asked them to provide three wishes to give people a range of what they might want this year. I think we have close to 1,500 wishes on that registry. We have barely scratched the surface so far,” Wolff said.

Trees of Hope Gift-Giving Options

Those who choose to fill the wishes have two options:

Ship/Mail a Gift: Fulfill the wishes of a Marjaree Mason Center child or client by having your gift shipped directly to them. Ship to: Marjaree Mason Center, 1600 M Street, Fresno, CA 93721.

Drop Off a Gift: Visit Marjaree Mason Center’s future home at 255 W. Bullard Ave, Fresno, CA 93704 (previously Milan Institute) on Monday (Dec. 18) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Bring the gifts unwrapped as they will be sorted and given directly to the child, teen, or adult who requested them. Consider providing wrapping paper or gift bags to add an extra special touch to their holiday.

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Anya Ellis,
Reporter/Researcher
Anya Ellis began working for GV Wire in July 2023. The daughter of journalists, Anya is a Fresno native and Buchanan High School graduate. She is currently at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in film and media studies and minoring in creative writing. She plans to pursue her masters in screenwriting after graduating. You can contact Anya at anya.ellis@gvwire.com.

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