Buying a fresh tree signals that the holiday season is just around the corner and on Thursday, Nov. 21, Aunt Leah’s Tree Lot will be opening up its Coquitlam tree lot.
But before this charitable organization can sell its first tree it needs volunteers to staff the Coquitlam tree lot at Eagle Ridge United Church (2813 Glen Dr., Coquitlam).
Shifts need to be filled for sales days between Nov. 21 and Dec. 23; shifts are typically four hours in length and volunteers have access to a heated tent as well as water, tea and hot water.
Families, individuals and work or faith groups are all welcome.
It’s also an opportunity for teenagers looking for volunteer hours to complete their graduation requirements, although the minimum age is 15 to participate unless you’re with a family.
Aunt Leah’s Tree Lot is celebrating its 25th anniversary this Christmas season and the tree lot is the organization’s primary fundraiser. Money raised goes to provide housing for moms and babies and youth aging out of foster care.
“Each year it’s an honour to bring together such a large and diverse community of volunteers to support foster kids, moms, and babies at our Christmas tree lots. We have students, individuals and groups signing up to help out.” Hope Rayson, volunteer coordinator, stated in a press release. “This year is particularly special as it’s our 25th anniversary, and we now have three generations of families who have come together to help make the tree lot the success that it is.”
Aunt Leah’s provides housing, financial help, life skills and emotional care to youth aging out of foster care and single moms and the support has been shown stop the cycle of homelessness and, in the case of young moms, can prevent their children from going back into the foster care system, according to Aunt Leah’s executive director Sara Stewart.
For example, Aunt Leah’s Mom House provided 16-year-old Sherry with a home and the support she needed to take care of her infant daughter, Marcella. Now in grade 4, Marcella is thriving and a top student in her class.
Aunt Leah’s started selling Christmas trees in the 1990s when government funding was cut.
For more information and hours of operations, visit www.auntleahs.org/trees