Luk Inc. Opens Its North Pole Branch
By Peter Jasinski
FITCHBURG -- The offices of Luk Inc. may very well be a satellite branch of the North Pole.
As Santa Claus spends the next few weeks gathering the Christmas wishes of billions of children, so does Charisse Murphy and her fellow Luk colleagues.
“As a society, we really hone in on Christmas, and as human services professionals, we know it’s a tough season for people,” said Murphy, a grants and development assistant with the Fitchburg nonprofit. “It’s hard for people to deal with seeing all these commercials and catalogs and seeing things they want or need and are unable to afford.”
Luk’s solution is the Giving Trees program, which is similar to a toy drive, but much more specific. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, Luk’s staff members, case managers and therapists are tasked with asking their clients what they want for Christmas. Each client’s “wishes” are then compiled and distributed out into the community where anyone so willing can grant them.
This year marks the 10th anniversary the social services agency has hosted the Giving Trees program, which has been steadily growing year after year.
There were 750 such wishes collected last year. Every one of them was answered.
“I think that it is a large undertaking, but we have the whole agency involved. There are a couple of planning it out and then we have our quote-unquote ‘elves’ that pick up and drop off the items and spend time wrapping them,” said Murphy.
The wishes themselves are printed onto ornaments put onto Christmas trees that local businesses choose to host throughout November and December. About 30 have signed up so far. The trees will be dispersed the week of Thanksgiving and will remain out until the week before Christmas.
Murphy said employees of each host business typically are the ones granting wishes by donating money and toys, though frequently customers and clients of each host pitch in too. Standard wishes cost $25 and under.
Anyone interested in granting a wish or hosting a tree are asked to contact Luk employees Brigitte Ferrante and Melissa Murphy by calling Luk directly at 978-345-0685 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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