We know. During this time of the year, there seems to be a frenzied mash-up of the three major holidays all rolled into one–Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas (wait, there’s also New Years…). While you may not be focused on Christmas yet, it’s important to be aware of important upcoming events in advance so that you can make plans and get the jump on them–especially when those events are of the charitable kind. For example, if your family loves to have at least one fresh Christmas tree a year, bedecked with all sorts of cheerful ornaments and lights in red, white, gold, green, and blue hues, why not purchase a tree where the profits will go to benefit a wonderful cause? We’re stoked to let you know about just such an event right in Calhoun County–the BUY A TREE CHANGE A LIFE event, set to take place in Anniston, Alabama for its second year.
Set to kick off Saturday, November 18, this awesome Christmas tree sale is not your typical Christmas cookie-cutter variety. It’s a charitable event where the proceeds are aimed at funding different programs that support children both locally and on a global scale. In fact, Buy a Tree. Change a Life is not just a local event. The nonprofit organization has 68 locations in 21 states throughout the U.S., having grown phenomenally since its infancy in 2012. On a larger scale, the proceeds, which year to date have been $7,847,104, have gone directly to People for Care and Learning as well as the partnerships that provide for children in the local communities where the trees are sold.
In our neck of the woods, the first Christmas tree sale was sponsored by Cornerstone Church. Under the direction of Emily Harrell, the site director for the event, they hope to outdo their sales from last year, which were impressive. From the day they opened their sale of 250 freshly cut Christmas trees, they sold out in just 2 weeks’ time. This year will feature a greater number of Douglas firs, shipped straight from a tree farm in North Carolina. A tent will be set up to house the trees, and there will also be a hot chocolate bar, a bouncy house for kids, craft activities, photo ops, and cheerful Christmas music playing in the background. From its first Saturday, November 18, the sale will run daily from 10 am – 8 pm until all trees are sold. They will be priced comparable to other local businesses that sell Christmas trees, but in this case, 100% of the profits will fund children’s charities.
Last year, Cornerstone Church raised $26,000 from the sale! Half of that money ($13,000) was sent to overseas missions through People for Care and Learning to fund education, housing, and food programs for underprivileged children. The other half of the money funded local causes. For example, Sleep in Heavenly Peace, a mission out of Gadsden, donates hand-built beds to children who don’t have one to call their own. Members of Cornerstone not only gave money but also their time, assisting in building some of the handmade beds themselves. Some of the money went to help local schools in need of athletic equipment, and the church even provided some meals for local sports teams. Also, they took some of the proceeds and stuffed backpacks with school supplies to be donated to children who needed them in Calhoun County. They even paid a local barber to provide free haircuts for children going back to school this year. How awesome is that?
Members of Cornerstone Church, shepherded by Pastor Chad Pesnell, would not have been able to pull off the event as successfully as they did last year without the partnerships they formed with local businesses in Calhoun County. This year some of them include Keller Williams Realty, Glidewell Group, Bond & Botes Law Offices, Cofield Asphalt Refinishing, and more. Speaking about the success of last year’s event and the anticipation of this year’s, Pastor Chad has been quoted saying, “It’s more than selling trees. It’s selling hope.”
Buy a Tree. Change a Life. Anniston will be open and ready to sell you a fresh, pine-scented Christmas tree beginning November 18 at Cornerstone Church, 2885 Choccolocco Road, Anniston. For more information, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.