As far as I’m concerned, Christmas came a little early this year when we delivered Christmas trees donated by the Target store to five area churches on December 15.
Every year, Target stores nationwide partner with local United Ways to donate 3,400 decorated holiday trees through the Target Share-a-Tree Program. This is the 19th consecutive year Target has donated artificial holiday trees to local community partners and families in need, and the fourth year for the local Charlottesville Target store. This year the store is donated all 32 artificial trees ranging from 3 feet to 9 feet tall that were on display in their Christmas department.
Every year we get a little smarter about how we do this, and we learned last year that we should come earlier to remove and box the ornaments from the decorated trees. So Monday night my son and I (he needed community service hours) went to the store and made up several boxes of ornaments so that each church would receive some ornaments to pass on to the recipient families. In addition, we contacted Love, Inc. to help us reach out to area churches who then identified families they knew were struggling this year.
A Christmas tree can be expensive, and many families simply cannot afford one. These trees not only will brighten this holiday season, but will also save these families money because they will no longer have to buy a tree each year.
One tree was going to two recently emigrated brothers who did not have a tree or ornaments. At our first stop, several of the recipients were there to meet us. One lady had not had a tree for years because she could not afford it. Now she has both a tree and some ornaments.
It was a great day, and we could not have accomplished it without the help of Ryan McKillip, area manager of Enterprise, who drove a big box truck to help us move all those trees. Abby Lunn, president of First Systems and Resources, a family-owned print and promotional products business here in Charlottesville, and a United Way board member, leapt at the chance to help with deliveries. Thanks to Ryan, Abby and the great folks at the Target Charlottesville store, 32 families now have a Christmas tree to gather around this year and for many years to come.
Enjoy our Charlottesville Newsplex news coverage from the event.
Posted by Kim Connolly.
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