STRATFORD, Conn. -- An anonymous donor purchased 40 trees from Stratford's Sterling House Community Center to give to needy area residents.
Sterling House Community Center conducts a Christmas tree sales fundraiser ever year led by volunteer Anne Wargo. She is assisted by many others volunteers, including her husband, Bob.
The agency purchased more than 400 trees this year and began selling them during Thanksgiving week, according to Executive Director Amanda Meeson. Tree sales were consistent and on par with previous years for the first three weeks, Wargo said.
On Thursday, Dec. 15, Sterling House had about 40 trees remaining with a forecast for rain and snow for the coming weekend. Around mid-afternoon, a woman and her daughter visited the front office and asked how many trees were remaining. She had seen Sterling House’s Facebook page where the agency had been promoting its Christmas tree sales.
Front office manager Donna Kelly said the woman then pulled out an envelope and said, “I think I have about enough money to buy them all,” and proceeded to hand Kelly $2,000 in $100 bills. She instructed the Community Center to give them “to families who need them.” Kelly said the woman did not leave her name or wish to be formally acknowledged.
Stratford EMS worked with Sterling House to deliver toys as part of its annual drive along with the trees. All of the trees were donated in the week before Christmas. “It was a powerful 10 minutes at Sterling House that clearly represents the spirit of giving and just how far one gift can go,'' Meeson said.