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270 children left to be gifted!- Alexandra V. Durante

- in Tree of Hands initiative
Some 300 gifts were wrapped over the weekend at the Tamarind Club. Photo: Facebook/File
From left: Alexandra V. Durante of Tree of Hands and Katasha Melville, the PR and Sponsorship Executive of Digicel BVI, pose with a driftwood Christmas 'Tree of Hands' at the launching of the 2015 Tree of Hands initiative at Bamboushay Lounge in Road Town on November 26, 2015. Photo: VINO/File
From left: Alexandra V. Durante of Tree of Hands and Katasha Melville, the PR and Sponsorship Executive of Digicel BVI, pose with a driftwood Christmas 'Tree of Hands' at the launching of the 2015 Tree of Hands initiative at Bamboushay Lounge in Road Town on November 26, 2015. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- With Christmas just four days away, some 270 children who made the Tree of Hands initiative list are without gifts. Coordinator Alexandra V. Durante has now sounded an appeal to the Virgin Islands community to come on board.

The non-profit, charitable movement, which began over 20 years ago by her mother Carol Durante and Barbara Myers through Cedar International School, is aimed at gifting the less fortunate children in the Virgin Islands at Christmas.

“Tree of Hands” is really paper hands with the age and sex of children placed on Christmas trees at various business places who have agreed to team up with them. Members of the public then select a hand and return with a gift.

300 gifts wrapped; 270 remaining

Alexander V. Durante explained that she has taken Tree of Hands under her wings for the past three years and has expanded it to the three other main islands- Jost Van Dyke, Anegada, and Virgin Gorda. She noted that while the community has participated and they wrapped some 300 gifts at the wrapping party held over the weekend at the Tamarind Club, 270 children -boys ages 1-15 and girls ages 1-12 are left.

“We are sending out an appeal, we have over 270 kids that still need gifts,” Durante told Virgin Islands News Online, adding that persons can either donate gifts or cash, and can contact her via private messaging on Facebook, calling her on telephone number 346-1023, or drop them off at International Motors, Digicel, Eastern Caribbean Soap Company and Tamarind Club.

According to her, most of the gifts have been donated to the Family Support Network (FSN), Anegada, Virgin Gorda, some local churches, hospital, and even at the prison for children visiting on Christmas day.

“Last year was the first year we had done all islands- Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Tortola and this year we are doing the same,” Durante said.

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