Topic: Youth-Focused Initiatives
The "Mitten Tree," an effort by WCAX-TV in Burlington, Vt.,has helped keep many fingers toasty and warm throughout the winter. During the annual campaign, the station asks its viewers to donate new hats, mittens, scarves and socks to help those less fortunate. The items are then distributed to more than 30 schools, shelters and agencies in the area. In 2007, a new "Mitten Tree" record was set when viewers donated more than 5,000 items. To keep up the momentum of the drive, the station airs promotional announcements throughout the holiday season and features updates during the morning newscast. One segment featured a very special woman, who despite losing almost all of her eyesight, hand-knit more than 100 items to donate and has a goal of making more than 250 items next year. During its four-year history, the "Mitten Tree" has grown exponentially, making it necessary to move its headquarters from the station to an empty storefront this past year.
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