Tree of Joy

Clothing, Underwear & Shoes for Underprivileged Children at Christmas

The annual Tree of Joy is the Sarasota Sunrise club’s oldest signature project, dating back more than three decades. It has provided an estimated 2,000 underprivileged children over the years with clothing, underwear and shoes at Christmas. In recent years, we have helped 100 to 105 kids annually each year, with $150 spent on each at Sears.

Since the project began, about $400,000 has been raised by donations from club members, individuals and various organizations. All the money we collect is spent on the children.

Club members, frequently helped by students from Pine View and other schools, operate a fund-raising booth on the two weekends following Thanksgiving outside the inside entrance to Sears at Sarasota Square Mall. Sears also sets aside a special discount shopping night for the kids, who are supervised by club members and friends.

“Wow…overall fantastic, “exclaimed our signature project’s chair, Carolyn Eliades, describing the shopping night Dec. 9, 2012, with needy kids.

Sunrise raised $17,800 in 2012 and our Rotary district added a $2.5K grant. Altogether 101 kids were taken shopping – each had $135 for essential clothing and shoes, plus another $15 for a Christmas gift. Two kids out of town for a family emergency were taken shopping separately.

Some comments from notes Carolyn received from a civic association and teachers:
– Some comments from notes Carolyn received from a civic association and teachers: – “(It was) right over the top, volunteers were so wonderful” – “Many wore their new items with pride” – “My students are so happy and thankful. One who had torn shoes and now has new ones is walking with his head high”

Get Involved

Sponsor a Child

Sponsor a child by donating $150

Includes $135 for clothing and shoes and a $15 gift from Santa.

Or make any donation that you want to help make this project a success.

If you are interested, please contact:
Carolyn Eliades
941-266-1115

How to Donate

Step 1: 
Print and complete the sponsorship form:

Step 2:
Make checks payable to:
Sarasota Sunrise Foundation, Inc.

Step 3: 
Mail check with your sponsorship form to:
P.O. Box 595
Sarasota, Florida 34230

Questions?
If you are interested in giving your support or have any questions, please contact:

Carolyn Eliades at (941)266-1115