Mitten Tree to Donate to Local Non-Profit, Families in Need

Mid Coast Hospital's Mitten Tree
The Mitten Tree, located in Mid Coast Hospital's Emergency Department

In celebration of the holiday season, Mid Coast Hospital is excited to have erected a Mitten Tree that will benefit The Emergency Action Network (TEAN), a non-profit organization serving the needs of children and families living in Brunswick.

The tree, decorated with donated mittens and hats, has been set up in the Emergency Department, just in time for Mitten Tree Day December 6. All are encouraged to hang a donated pair of mittens or gloves on the tree now through December 21.

After each of its branches is filled, a representative from TEAN will pick up the donations and distribute them to Brunswick residents that will need them this winter.

The initiative is inspired by "The Mitten Tree,” a children’s book written by author Candance Christiansen. It tells the story of a little girl who notices one of her classmates does not have mittens at the bus stop one winter day. Worried about her friend, she knits a pair of mittens and leaves them on a nearby tree for him. Every day after, she knits a new pair for other children who need them.

Since the book was published in 1995, institutions around the world have been constructing their own charitable trees on December 6.

Mitten Tree Day also coincides well with TEAN’s mission. The group was formed in 2016 by six local mothers, and donates vital items such as new clothes, shoes, hygiene items, and school supplies to who it calls "the most vulnerable children and families” in the Brunswick community.

As soon as a need is identified by referring staff or community providers, TEAN board members post an "ask” on the group’s Facebook page, which has more than 900 donors, or "allies,” as TEAN calls them.

Over the past two years, TEAN allies have donated goods, services and supports in excess of $30,000. Mid Coast Hospital is honored to help their cause this winter.