UPDATE: Applications are now closed.
It all started with one Christmas tree.
Last Friday, I casually posted on Facebook that I had a Christmas Tree voucher to give away to someone who needed it. I was simply amazed at the response. So many of you had decided to forgo getting a Christmas tree due to finances. I decided to use some of my daily deal credit to get some more trees. A number of you generously offered to buy a fellow reader a tree as well.
Then I got an email that completely broke my heart. I won’t go into the details, but I was confronted with a family who was working hard, very hard. Despite their best intentions and effort, life is not going well and a Christmas tree is simply not an option this year. In fact, this family opts to leave the heat off most of the time, spends a miniscule amount a week on food and may just well lose their home,
What I do know about life is that, in any given situation, we are very rarely the “only ones.” This reader and her family are just one of many of you who are struggling desperately to provide food, shelter and utilities for your families, which makes Christmas trees, gifts, meals and decorations simply out of the question.
Another thing I know for sure? Most of you who are doing well would just love to step in and help. Many of us are just waiting, praying for an opportunity to bless another family this Christmas.
Immediately I started formulating a plan to help this family and others like them. My idea?
The Christmas Tree Project. Because it all started with a Christmas tree.
My vision is to do something big — to utilize the amazing community of local readers here at FrugalLivingNW.com to provide Christmas to families who just can’t afford it this year.
Here’s how The Christmas Tree Project will work:
:: Are you going without this Christmas? Fill out this form here by this Wednesday (12/7) at 6:00 pm Pacific. Applications will be reviewed and we will select families based on their need and what we can reasonably organize. If you are selected, we will send you a questionnaire to help determine exactly how we can serve you best. You will remain anonymous unless you give us permission to share your story. Please do not complete an application on behalf of another family.
:: Are you willing to help a fellow reader out? We will post the specific items we need to provide a simple Christmas for these families by Saturday (12/10). All you do is let us know what you’d like to get, buy it and drop it at one of the local drop points by Thursday, December 15.
:: Are you willing to be a drop site? We are looking for businesses or churches to accept donations in the following areas: Beaverton, Hillsboro, Wilsonville, Clackamas, Gresham, inner-SE or NE Portland, Vancouver. Readers will drop items at your place and we will pick them up on Friday, December 16.
The FrugalLivingNW.com team will deliver Christmas to participant’s homes the week before Christmas.
This project is open to residents in Oregon and SW Washington. For those outside the Portland Metro area, we will offer the opportunity for families to adopt families, and personally deliver the gifts.
One quick note: I do not, in any way, want to take the place of your local church or your extended family. If you are struggling financially and involved in a local church, please go to them and ask for help. I guarantee there are many, many people who would jump at the chance to be involved in your life. If you would like to help by providing gifts, please first participate in what your church is already doing. This project is meant to be extra and not the primary avenue of service and giving for your family.
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