There is so much to hope for in this world and culture today. Wouldn’t you agree? Well, we decided to partner with Christmas Trees of Hope for the Holiday Season to help provide just that. Here is out story….
2 Tree Farms
Tom, his wife, daughter, and father in law run a tree farm in South OC. They sell pumpkins in October and Trees in December that they have grown themselves. During the two holidays, they work tirelessly on their farm selling their product to the community as a means for their family. In the off season, Tom is a General Contractor to make ends meet. He loves to give back and loves to participate with Christmas Trees of Hope. The last two years I have personally driven to his farm to pick up literally fresh cut trees that day. What makes this time so special for me is that every year as I am driving down or coming back with the trees, “Oh Holy Night” plays on the radio. And every single time my eyes well up with tears when I hear the lyrics, “Truly he taught us to love one another. His law is love and His gospel is peace. Chains shall he break for the slave is our brother. And in His name, all oppression will cease”. I cry over these lyrics because these families that will be receiving these trees need these words to ring true so desperately in their lives and we get to be a small part in that.
Eric and his brother have been running their business for over 20 years. The last time I spoke with Eric I asked him how he got into it – and his story brought both of us to tears. He grew up with 3 other brothers and 2 sisters. When he was a little boy, a family delivered a tree to his family because their parents couldn’t afford it. From that moment on, he knew he had a calling on his life to pay it forward. Eric and his brother played a huge part this year in bringing hope to 45 families.
32 Families reached out to us through Facebook and Craigslist to request a Christmas Tree of Hope! Along with the tree, they received a gift bag filled with ornaments, lights, a tree topper, and decorations. Some families even got paper gingerbread houses for their kids to decorate. These families were spread from Lake Forest, to Costa Mesa, to Anaheim, to Buena Park, to living in motels, and all in-between! They are real people with real struggles – job losses, sickness, taking care of other family members, etc.
10 Vet Families reached out through Fresh Beginnings and received a Christmas Tree of Hope with all the decorations. We are SO grateful for their service for our country and our freedom, we were humbled to partner with them.
3 Families have moms and/or wives that are battling breast cancer and will most likely not have another Christmas with their families.
Ranging from strangers (to now friends), to family, to long time
friends, – we had 23 families fill their cars and trucks with tree(s) and decorations then drive to strangers houses all across Orange County and deliver the Christmas
Tree of Hope. We could not have done this project without your TIME! Our prayer is that this moment blessed you and your family just as much as the receiver.
From Christmas trees, stands, gift bags, lights, ornaments, tree toppers, decorations, monetary donations so the balance of items could be purchased, and much more, we had 20 people donate so we could serve 45 families! These people worked “behind” the scenes, but are JUST as important and we could not have done this project without you either!
This blog is just a TINY (so tiny) glimpse into Christmas Trees of Hope. The stories will continue, the friendships will last a life time, and the opportunities to serve will always be available if you look for them.
Hope comes in so many forms. For this moment, it was in the form of a Christmas Tree. We know Who is the ultimate giver of Hope – a real Hope that lasts for eternity and quenches the thirstiest of souls. Jesus. He is the reason for ALL of this. And if you are reading this and don’t know Him…please reach out! Just like those 45 families who reached out for a Christmas Tree that only lasts a few weeks. Reach out to us for a Hope that will last forever.
Thank you to everyone that served their time, talent and treasure. We are humbled and encouraged by your partnership!