Port Alberni’s Kuu-us Crisis Line Society has launched its 23rd annual Festival of Trees.
The event provides fresh Christmas trees to local families, and also helps sponsors give back to the community during the holiday season.
A number of sponsors have already stepped up to decorate trees this year, said Elia Nicholson-Nave, executive director of Kuu-us. “It is wonderful to see the continued support that this event has each year,” she said. “The generosity and community spirit from fellow citizens is heartfelt.”
Kuu-us Crisis Line is a charity that provides essential services for those in crisis. Festival of Trees is just one of many acts of kindness the society spearheads that brighten the holiday season for Port Alberni’s families in need.
“So far we’ve got 16 trees confirmed,” said Ellie Hadley of Sociellie Events, who is organizing the festival for Kuu-us this year.
“We had about 25 last year but because we’re down a location this year we’ve had to downsize.”
West Coast General Hospital traditionally hosts some trees during the festival but this year had to bow out. Hadley hopes they will return as a location in the future.
Decorated trees will be available to view in the windows of the Coulson Building at Third Avenue and Mar Street, as well as the Tseshaht Market on Pacific Rim Highway, from Dec. 8–15.
Mossy Stumps Farms has donated real Christmas trees to be distributed to families on Dec. 15. Numerous Port Alberni-based businesses have agreed to sponsor trees—decorating artificial trees for public viewing and voting, then donating the decorations to chosen families.
“We’re trying to keep it simple this year,” Hadley said. If sponsors also wish to donate food or gifts, these will be distributed to people in need through other programs.
Kuu-us still runs an outreach program, and they have a holiday gift-giving program as well.
Tree recipients are chosen privately, and recipients only receive a tree once, Hadley said, in order to keep up with requests every year.
To vote for your favourite tree or for more information on the various programs that Kuu-us Crisis Line Society run, please call 250-723-4050.