Saturday, Nov. 13, 2-4 p.m., Outside

Come with your Target gift cards in denominations of either $25 or $50. Come with your cash and or checks made out to Alliance of First Parish in Wayland. As you drive through, you’ll be greeted by cheerful elves who have goodie bags filled with homemade cookies, candy canes and Santa’s Hat Hershey’s kisses.

Undecorate the Tree has been a tradition at First Parish for over 20 years. In the years before Covid-19, a holiday tree in the Vestry was decorated with paper candy canes – each with a gift wish of a mom or child who was a survivor of domestic violence. You shopped for winter coats, boots, pots and pans, comforters, books, toys – things left behind when the moms and kids left home, quite often with only the clothing on their backs.

Covid-19 changed the way we support these moms and kids during the holiday season. While our support may have a different look, the need for our support is still very much needed. We are again partnering with REACH, a Waltham organization that provides us with the names of the moms and children. REACH provides shelter as well as supportive services to survivors by accompanying them to doctors’ visits, court dates and working in communities to talk about and address dating and healthy relationships.

If coming to the drive-through on November 13 does not fit your schedule, you can write a check made out to the Alliance of First Parish in Wayland and we’ll buy the gift card for you. Checks can be mailed to Pat Sims, or mailed or dropped off at the church office at 50 Cochituate Rd, Wayland. Or you can buy a Target gift card and a member of our committee can pick it up at your house (it’s safer than mailing it). Contact Pat if you’d like to arrange a pick-up for the gift card or check. We need to receive all checks by no later than November 22. While this may seem rather early, the REACH staff has to deliver our gift cards as well as those from other individuals and organizations to the families. This collection date will give the moms time to shop online or in person as well as time to wrap the gifts.

There are many ways we can express our commitment to social justice. Please consider providing financial support and bringing holiday cheer to the moms and their children who have survived domestic violence.