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Michael J. Sykes: 'We appreciate every one of you who helps this effort be successful year after year.'

PMG FILE PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Michael J. SykesWe are continuing our holiday tradition of helping to warm the community once again this year. For the fifth year, we will be collecting warming items to donate to members of the community.

We're asking employees, board members and customers to bring in hats, coats, blankets, gloves and other warming items. They can be new, handmade or gently used.

These items will be donated to a local nonprofit organization to distribute to community members.

This is a tradition that was started in 2018, when we donated items to the St. Helens Kiwanis Club. It has continued each year since then, with items going to SAFE of Columbia County, the St. Helens Elks Lodge Holiday for Hope program, and Community Action Team.

Last year, we established a new record with 1,260 items collected. With your help, we hope to eclipse that number in 2022.

Over the four years we have done this, we have collected more than 3,000 individual items.

Clearly, the Warming Tree has been a sustained success. The volume of donations that come through our doors is overwhelming, and we appreciate every one of you who helps this effort be successful year after year.

Commitment to community is one of our core values. Providing these items to those who need help is one of the ways we demonstrate our commitment.

If you wish to donate items to the Warming Tree, please bring them to our office during regular business hours, Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. We ask that all donations are turned in by Dec. 8 to ensure they are delivered in time for Christmas.

Michael J. Sykes is general manager of the Columbia River People's Utility District.

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