From The Journal February 17, 2020 

By Erika Alvero

The Mancos Valley Resources has named its Project of the Year to be the Giving Tree.

This was the 22nd year for the Mancos Giving Tree project, a holiday tradition in which local residents can pick up an ornament from trees posted around town and buy a present for someone in need. The project was organized by Donna Watkins.

“Donna did such a great job of streamlining the process, creating a database for the families and assigning a number to each member so it was very organized,” Kim Cox, Mancos Valley Resources administrator, told The Journal. “This method encouraged individuals and groups to adopt families so that every family member was taken care of.”

Mancos Valley Resources is a local nonprofit that serves as the fiscal sponsor for 18 projects, according to Cox. Its mission is focused on “preserving and enhancing” cultural and community assets of the Mancos Valley.

The award was presented at MVR’s annual meeting at The Grange Feb. 11.

“It is an honor to be chosen as the Mancos Valley Resources Project of the Year,” Watkins told The Journal.

Over the holiday season, Giving Trees were posted at sites around Mancos, including at the Dolores State Bank, P&D Grocery, Zuma, Columbine Bar and the Mancos Public Library.

“We helped make the Christmas season special for 81 people in 30 families,” Watkins said. “Procedural changes and a new system for ornament coding helped our shoppers coordinate gifts for families, thanks to the generosity of Mancos residents.”

Cox also commended Watkins’ hard work in getting the Giving Tree project off the ground.

“She works very hard, almost nonstop for two months, and she’s just a pleasure to work with, and always has a smile on her face,” Cox said.