By Kate Berube
For the past several years, in the center of the Bayport Blue Point Library, stands a tall Christmas tree cheerfully decorated in cold weather accessories. Assembled the Saturday after Thanksgiving and kept up through mid-December, the annual Library Mitten Tree stands as a symbol of kindness, a showcase of a small communities warm spirit. Teaming with children’s gloves, scarves, and winter hats, the donations are meant to insure that no child goes cold this holiday season.
Behind that effort, is the tireless work of The Johnny Mac Foundation, a nonprofit created in memory of FDNY FF John F. McNamara, who collects and delivers the donations to the library. This year they were able to bring their largest offering to date, with hundreds of items of winter apparel, in part thanks to a special contribution from the Suffolk County Correction Officers Association. Those items are then evenly distributed through Our Lady of the Snow, Blue Point Bible Church, Bayport United Methodist, and BBP’s three elementary schools.
“Christmas was one of John’s favorites,” explains Jennifer McNamara, foundation president, of the sentiment behind the holiday drive “this seemed like a nature thing for us to be able to give back within our local community.” The library is continuing to accept donations through December 16th for anyone who is interested in contributing.