For many years Bob Wetterer has been “Santa” for children in schools and non-profit agencies throughout Greater Cincinnati. Each year he tried to do more for needy children to bring happiness into their lives.
In 1985 Bob, with the cooperation of the management of Beechmont Mall, began a personal program to help bring laughter and joy into the lives of troubled teens. That first year, Bob set up a tree with ornaments and tags with names and gift suggestions for the teens at Altercrest. The community opened its heart to these children and 60 gifts were donated. In each of the following years The Wish Tree program grew. More non-profit agencies and inner-city schools were involved each year. More children received toys, clothing, sporting goods and school supplies each year. The program was then expanded to include the disabled and disadvantaged seniors in nursing homes.
Decorative tags with names and gift suggestions are place on Wish Trees in banks, restaurants and businesses throughout Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. During the months of November and December more and more members of the community are selecting these tags and reaching out to the disadvantaged with gifts for students, gifts for their schools, gifts for the disabled and seniors, and gifts for the participating agencies.
Through The Wish Tree Program, last year 50,000 gifts were purchased by the community and donated to people in need. Each year the number of trees increases and the number of gifts increases!
The entire Wish Tree Program is run by volunteers and the staff of the agencies who participate. From writing the child’s name on the tag to picking up the gifts from the Wish Tree location – from sorting the gifts to delivering then to the children – many dedicated volunteers are following Bob Wetterer’s example – bringing joy into the lives of children.
If you want to get involved and give back to the community in helping disadvantaged and disabled youth, stop by The Perfect Small Office Turfway, take an ornament tag off one of our Christmas trees, purchase the gift, and return the gift and tag to the property manager located at 73 Cavalier Blvd, Suite 116 Florence, KY 41042. Preferred deadline is Dec 23rd.