British Virgin Islands

Sunday, Nov 29, 2020

'Stick to new items as opposed to hand me downs' this Xmas

'Stick to new items as opposed to hand me downs' this Xmas

While making a public appeal for persons far and wide to assist in the gift-giving initiative undertaken each year to assist in creating a happier Christmas for less fortunate children, the organiser of the non-profit organisation – Tree of Hands, Alexandra V. Durante, is appealing for persons to consider giving new items as opposed to 'hand me downs'.

"Please help us raise as many gifts as possible for less fortunate children in our territory. We need Santa to visit on Christmas Eve/Day," she wrote on her Facebook page on October 28, 2020.

"Please stick to toys and new items as it would be nice for kids to have new things to open and use rather than hand me downs. Please if you are buying items that need batteries include a pack," she added.


The Tree of Hands Foundation has been bringing Christmas cheer to children in the Virgin Islands for over two decades.

Different this year


Durante also asked that these gifts come wrapped as due to social distancing guidelines, there will be no gift wrapping party.

Typically, persons would pick up a 'Hand' from a tree at a participating business and would return with a gift for a child. Then the items will be wrapped and distributed to the children in need in time for Christmas.

Durante informed that the new guidelines will now be that no hands will be available for pick up this year, but there will be many places to drop off gifts, and it will be announced in the coming weeks.

She added: "Please write the age group on the wrapping paper! So if it is for age 3+ and it is a puzzle (example) write the ideal age, it is for within a two years gap!!! So boy age 3-5 or girl age 13-15. We will be blindly handing out gifts, so we don't want to give a 13-year-old boy a toy car for a 5-year-old, even though the age on the box says 3+."


Alexandra V. Durante, right, with her parents Carol Durante, centre, (one of the founders of Tree of Hands) and Lutia Durante at Tortola Pier Park on December 16, 2017.

Gifts critical now


In her final pitch, Durante implored all to consider gifting a child as families are struggling.

"With the pandemic hanging over our little territory like a dark cloud, we need your support more than ever as families are struggling to make ends meet! Let's once again make our children have a bright Christmas as every child deserves to be visited by Santa," she stated.

The Tree of Hands Foundation is observing 28 years of existence this year.

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