Trees bring holiday spirit
Zamya Bailey 2, is all smiles after picking out her tree as part of a program from The Salvation Army and Treetime Christmas Creations’ 2nd Annual Tree Trade-In program. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media
See more photos from this event at www.barrington.suntimes.com
Updated: December 16, 2012 6:27AM
Treetime Christmas Creations in Lake Barrington has partnered with The Salvation Army to give area residents early Christmas presents that will last for years to come.
This year marks the second annual Tree Trade-In Program, in which The Salvation Army collects artificial Christmas trees and donates them to area families. This year, The Salvation Army collected more than 400 trees, up from the 200 collected last year.
Laurie Kane, owner of Treetime, said the trees were collected throughout October. She said artificial trees were collected because real Christmas trees tend to be more cumbersome and have to be thrown out after the holiday.
“These trees can be used for a long time,” she said. “It’s actually a green way to get your tree.”
Kane said this year the program was expanded to serve families in Milwaukee, where more than 100 trees were picked up.
Last week, families in need were invited to Treetime to pick out their tree. The trees came in all sizes; some had lights attached while others were plain.
“We picked one without lights,” said North Chicago resident Versatility Johnson, who was at the Treetime warehouse with her daughter. Johnson said she always wanted a large tree, but they were always too expensive.
“We’ll be keeping it for a long time,” she said.
Salvation Army Public Relations Specialist Alysse Chadwick said families unable to come to the warehouse could sign up to get trees delivered to their homes free of charge. She said The Salvation Army decided to partner with Treetime as a way to give back during the Christmas season.
“We have the logistical capabilities to do something like this, so it was really a perfect fit,” she said.
Dennis Earnhardt, envoy for The Salvation Army, stepped off the truck that had brought more trees to Treetime last Thursday. He said the tree trade-in program is great because many people have only enough to pay for rent and food and cannot afford Christmas accessories like trees and decorations.
“We didn’t realize how many people didn’t have trees,” Earnhardt said.
Last year, Earnhardt said, families were grateful upon receiving their trees.
Waukegan resident Marisa Soto, who was at the warehouse with her young son, said she is grateful to not have to dip into her personal budget for a Christmas tree. She and her son picked out a tree with colored lights attached.
“I think that one is just right for us,” she said.~.