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Mitten tree to help those in need this winter season

There’s a new holiday decoration adorning the lobby of the Lawrence County Courthouse and it’s there to do more than look pretty.

For the first time the Ohio State University Extension Office has set up a mitten tree right outside its door on the first floor of the courtroom.

“Paige (Matney, extension secretary) was saying we ought to do a community project,” Jeri Stallo, SNAP-Ed program assistant, said. “I said a mitten, hat and sock tree is an inexpensive way to donate. And we can benefit a lot of people.”

Now through Dec. 18, the extension office is asking for donations of new hats, scarves, mittens, gloves and socks. Those donating can hang the items on the tree or place them in a box covered in Christmas wrapping paper nearby.

When people in the community heard about the tree, the office got calls saying they know those in need.

The items donated will be given to local churches and other organizations in the county.

Besides Matney and Stallo, working on the project were Debbie Carpenter, EFNETNEP program assistant, Rachael Fraley, 4-H educator, and Treva Williams, county director.

“Those homeless, they need their hands and feet warm, “Stallo said. “And not even the homeless, but people are up against the rock.”