The holidays will be a bit more cheery this year for patients at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.
Volunteers for the Tiny Trees organization have been busy decorating miniature Christmas trees for patients who will be spending more than two nights at the hospital during the holiday season. Then, the patients who leave can take the artificial trees home with them.
The program was started over ten years ago by Mary France. At the time, France�s daughter was finishing up her cancer treatment and the family was looking for a way to give back.
“We’re encouraged by the amount of people who have responded,� France told WBIR-TV. �It’s been very delightful to see the program grow year after year, and we’re so thankful to those who continue to contribute to us each year.�
Many of the groups that help with the project come back again, including Girl Scout Troop 20158. The troop says that helping others is part of the Girl Scout Promise, and they�re happy they get to fulfill that promise by working with Tiny Trees.
Each tree has a different theme and the girls work hard to make sure each one is special.
“We have a penguin theme, a mickey mouse theme for one, an elf theme for another,” said Victoria Lamkey, an eighth-grader at Seymour Junior High School.
This was a record breaking year for the organization, with over 750 decorated trees donated to the hospital. Volunteers and community members unload and sort the trees and each one is placed in a young patient�s room. All of the trees are required to have lights, so the kids can have the warm, comforting glow around them all season long.
Check out a video from this year’s event….the most trees ever were decorated and delivered to patients!
Chloe Ford, one of the many volunteers who took part in the project, decorated her tree with a Grinch theme. �This kind of provides a distraction from everything else, so they can just enjoy the holidays,� she told WVLT-TV.
We�re sure the trees will make the holidays much brighter for the kids who may be celebrating Christmas away from their own homes this year.
Tiny Trees is always looking for donations and volunteers. If you�re in the East Tennessee area and would like to take part in next year�s project, you can follow their Facebook page for updates.
Or, if you think your community could benefit from a project like Tiny Trees, why not start your own event? Reaching out to your local children�s hospital to see if they accept holiday donations might be a good place to start. Let�s work together and #StartSomethingGood.
(Source: images & video Tiny Trees Facebook)