Dozens of Navy Exchange patrons gathered around the large ornament-decked tree in the lobby of the main Navy Exchange (NEX) Mayport on Nov. 16 to watch the lighting of the Giving Tree and enjoy performances by children from the off-base Child Development Center.
Santa Claus joined NS Mayport Commanding Officer, Capt. Dave Yoder and Navy Exchange (NEX) Mayport General Manager Bill Hockenbury in lighting the tree before heading back to the North Pole.
This is the 24th year that the NEX has hosted the Giving Tree program in conjunction with the Mayport USO.
The Giving Tree is a special military community outreach program designed to extend holiday warmth to special children in need throughout the Mayport military community. Decorated with handmade ornaments by the children at the CDC, attached to each ornament is the age, gender, clothing size and toy wish for a NS Mayport child. NEX patrons are asked to enhance the Christmas holiday and makes dreams come true for these children with gifts of toys and/or clothing.
The way it works is simple. Individuals choose a handmade ornament off of the Giving Tree and register their name at the Flower Shop counter.
Next, purchase and/or make a gift for a child who is represented by the ornament on the Giving Tree.
Then return your unwrapped gifts and ornament to a Flower Shop associate within seven days.
This program will end on Dec. 18.
Please make sure to return your gifts and the ornament no later than the Dec. 18 deadline.
For more information about Giving Tree, see an associate in the Flower Shop. To donate food to Mayport USO, call 246-3481.
Season For Giving