Some New Hampshire families whose budgets didn’t allow for a Christmas tree this year received a holiday surprise in the form of a free tree—thanks to a partnership between a Catholic church and a police department.
“I just wasn’t going to have one,” Paul Newcity of Canaan, New Hampshire said Monday of a Christmas tree.
Newcity said he didn’t have the spare cash to buy a tree this year, with six grandkids to get presents for, and his wife back in school.
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“She’s got three more months to finish,” Newcity said. “It’s been one income coming in.”
Newcity was able to pick up a free tree Monday—one of 18 distributed by the Lebanon Police Department.
“Trees are not cheap this time of year, and there are a lot of families out there that may need money to put toward presents or just to general living expenses,” observed Chief Rich Mello of the Lebanon Police Department. “The fact we can provide them with a little bit of help during the Christmas season and holiday season is definitely nice.”
Father Charles Pawlowski of the Sacred Heart Parish in Lebanon teamed with Chief Mello, whose large Facebook reach found folks who could really use the help.
The trees were left over from a church event, and the pastor said he hopes the simple gifts may remind everyone—no matter where they are—of the impact thoughtfulness and kindness can have, year-round.
“A little bit will go a long way,” Rev. Pawlowski said. “No matter how little you think something may be, for another individual, it’ll brighten their day in a capacity that we will never understand.”
While the 18 donated trees were all spoken for by midday Monday, Lebanon’s chief said if there are still members of his community who can’t afford a tree and are going to go without one this Christmas, they could contact him at the department and he would help them find one.
“We didn’t anticipate them going so quickly, and it shows the need in the community,” Mello told necn & NBC 10 Boston.
For Newcity, this Christmas surprise should take a bit of stress out of the holidays, he indicated.
“Just a little extra money in my pocket,” he said as he prepared to drive home with his tree.