This is the second in my series about the true Christmas spirit, another CBS News story from Redwood City, California, about a family who helps their community in a very special way at Christmas.
George Garrick is in the business of Christmas trees only instead of selling them, he gives them away to needy families in his community, and he has help from his wife, Lainie, and their children, William, Jonathan, and Vic who share in the venture by lugging trees to cars. What has become a Christmas tradition for this family began three years ago when they heard about a family who couldn’t afford a tree for Christmas. According to George, “For a lot of these families to go and pay $60, $70, or $80 for a tree at a commercial lot – they just can’t do it.” Through their organization, called “Trees of Joy” they are able to give away 500 trees at Christmas.
But that’s not all they do. They also provide the ornaments, the stands, and the hooks. According to Lainie Garrick, “We have to make sure they go home with it all decorated.” And they make sure the trees are only going to families who are really deserving by working with a representative from the city’s support programs for low-income families.
Grateful families stand in long lines for the opportunity to take home trees which will brighten their holiday season and bring a little Christmas into their homes. George Garrick is an Internet CEO who spends $30,000 in his efforts to spread the joy of Christmas to those who have precious little of it in this economic environment. In spite of the high cost to him, he says that he gets it all back in smiles.
Thanks to families like the Garrick family, the Christmas spirit has been spread a little bit farther!