Leaders of the Colorado Springs-based Christmas Tree Project kicked off the tree-giving season Saturday.
The group helps struggling families afford a holiday celebration by giving away wreaths, lights and other Christmas essentials.
The project began in 2010 with a Craigslist ad. It sparked a citywide effort to gather Christmas trees for families struggling financially so they can celebrate the holiday without spending money on decorations.
So far, more than 800 have been donated and given to families.
This year, the group received help from the 5 Star Christmas Tree Company. It donated real trees in several cities across the nation including Colorado Springs. Other major donations came from St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church and a local country club.
The group shared the following example of a letter that came from a woman hoping for a little help this holiday season:
Hello, my name is XXX I'm a 22 year old single mother of two. I currently have an amazing 4 year old son and I'm expecting my second which is a girl and will be coming either this month or next. I just lost my job due to having a difficult pregnancy and having preterm labor contractions. My job was very important to me because I was really looking forward to trying to give my children the most I can but now without a job and almost 9 months pregnant it's pretty difficult to get another job right now. So even though I won't be able to give them much this year I would at least want to have a tree lit up Christmas morning and still make the best of it for my kids. And if we do get a tree, it will be greatly appreciated and such a blessing. Well thank you so much. Sincerely, XXX (The baby arrived early and we are scheduling the tree delivery for this week).
You can find out more by visiting thechristmastreeproject.org