Michelle and I had no idea how much having a Christmas tree means to people, but it turns out it means a lot. Our simple desire to give away a single Christmas tree on Craigslist miraculously turned into a citywide effort managed by a volunteer team of over 15 very dedicated people. The Christmas Tree Project has created a healthy dose of Christmas magic by giving away more than 3,500 fully decorated Christmas trees in last few of years to families. This project is full of smiles, hugs and even a few tears.
It's clear this story is not about us-and it's really not even about Christmas trees, it's about an amazing pay-it-forward effort that started with a chain of random acts of kindness and blossomed into a citywide effort to help other people have a better Christmas. In the cold wintery days of December in Colorado Springs, this project warms hearts all over town.
Generosity, kindness, caring, and the Christmas spirit is indeed alive and well in Colorado Springs and now this Christmas magic is spreading around the country. Michelle and I feel so blessed to be able to participate in the real spirit of Christmas and we want to thank all the elves that help us make this happen.
The Christmas Tree Project started in November 2010 Michelle and I put an ad on Craig's list to give away one Christmastree and we got over 20 responses in a few hours (one from aboy's home really tugged at our hearts).We gave our tree away to a young couple with an 11 month old baby girl.Michelle said"why don't we take the $20 my principle gave me to do somethinggood with and we can pitch in the rest to buy a tree for the boyshome" - so we did, and the Christmas Tree Project was born.
We told some friends about the Craig's list ad, the trees we gave away, how much the boys home appreciated the tree and told them we really wanted to be able to get a tree to everyone else answered the Craig's list ad and needed a tree. So our friends said, "we'll pitch in to buy a few more trees", so we did. The Gazette heard about what we were doing and wrote a story about us.
The Gazette Article appeared on December 8th, 2010.The moment the Gazette article was published, the project instantly became much more than Michelle and I could handle ourselves, so friends, family, and people wedidn't even know jumped in to help do everything necessary to make the Christmas tree magic happen.We are now coast-to-coast and give away trees (when possible) to families that request them all over the US.
CBS national news did a feature story on our 2017 giveaway and covered us again in 2020.