COVINGTON - Those seeking a somewhat unconventional donation this holiday season have a chance to do so at the library.
For the fifth year, the Newton County Library has erected a gift tree near its front entrance in order to collect items for the library.
Until Jan. 2, visitors to the library on Floyd Street can choose an item from the tree - ranging in price from $10 to $75 per item, including a variety of books, audiobooks, DVDs and other items.
Greg Heid, director of the library, said the time it takes for a person to make a donation is only a few minutes and makes a great impact on the library. Guests also can choose to make a donation in honor of someone; the library will send a note to that person letting them know of the dedication.
"We realize (giving) is hard all around this year," Heid said. "But hopefully, this year people will find a little bit to give."
He said this year is especially important for the library to receive help because book and magazine costs have increased and state funding to the library has decreased; Heid said this is unfortunate because during tough economic times, visitors increase their time at the library because of limited money to buy or order books, magazines and other items found at the library.
For the past few years, the library has raised between $2,000 and $2,500 to purchase 120 books and videos for the library with its gift tree; this year, officials hope to raise just as much or more in order to buy about the same number of items.
Heid said library officials are searching for vendor sales and any discounts they can get so the library can buy as many items as possible.
The gift tree is the library's largest fundraising project of the year, sponsored by the Friends of the Library; the library also holds a book sale twice a year to get funding.
The library accepts cash, checks or credit cards as forms of payment for its donations.
Michelle Floyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.