Eight years ago, Doug and Michelle Fine purchased a new Christmas tree. Wondering what to do with the old one, they decided to post an ad on Craigslist for a free tree. Twenty calls later, their old tree found a new home. And an original idea of the spirit of Christmas for the couple.
Fast forward eight years, and you’ll find the couple, along with their entire family, grandchildren included, and several volunteers from the community in a building with lots of free Christmas trees, ornaments, wreaths, and even free toys.
What started out as one free gift, has turned into over 2,000 trees had gone to homes for the holidays. Foster care homes where money is tight and the luxury of a Christmas and trimmings is most likely not in the budget. But as one young girl said, the Christmas trees help the foster kids have a feeling of being home, when they’re away from their homes over the holidays.
And one young mother said she donates clothes her children have outgrown to others, so coming there to get their tree for their small home and three children help her feel like she’s not just taking. She’s giving what she has to offer and receives what she needs for her children.
Carolers are there to sing and play music to make the day festive. Food is donated. All of the items in the free Christmas tree store are given by others in and around the town.
The Fines said they make sure the environment is one of dignity and abundance. They don’t want anyone feeling like they’re getting a handout or feel sorry for coming here for Christmas trees and the other things they receive. It’s all about giving.
So, what started out as one free Christmas tree, has turned into the spirit of giving for an entire town.