FORT COLLINS, Colo. — For the sixth consecutive year, Fort Collins-based charity Northern Colorado Shares has teamed up with the Colorado State Forest Service to provide fresh-cut Christmas trees for local families in need – with more than 200 obtained from Colorado State University’s Mountain Campus.
This week, CSFS staff and volunteers harvested the young lodgepole pine trees from the dense regrowth of a 23-year-old wildfire scar on the campus property. The trees were obtained for Gift of a Green Christmas Tree – a program of the broader 501c3 organization NoCo Shares – which each year provides hundreds of free Christmas trees from the CSFS and other sources to brighten the holiday season for families, senior citizens and others with limited resources.
“Each year it amazes me how this project comes together,” said Kathie Robson, NoCo Shares marketing director and treasurer. “From the agencies that advocate for those families who need a helping hand, to the businesses that give up lunch hours to make ornaments and Christmas cards, to our friends at the CSFS that harvest hundreds of trees for us, to the countless volunteers that come out year after year, in all kinds of weather, to help us deliver a little bit of Christmas cheer.”
Brightening the holidays for needy families in northern Colorado
NoCo Shares President Ryan Behm started Gift of a Green Christmas Tree in 2003, delivering 23 trees that year. The charity now obtains most tree recipients’ names from United Way of Larimer County 2-1-1, House of Neighborly Service and similar organizations that support families in need.
Since 2012, the CSFS has joined forces with NoCo Shares to provide Christmas trees from CSU property. Trees are only cut in designated locations and under specific guidelines to improve forest health.
Tomorrow, local volunteers will deliver the trees to families in the Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley areas. Donated lighting, ornaments and a stand are included by NoCo Shares with each delivery.
“The generosity of communities in northern Colorado is inspiring,” Robson said.
To volunteer with NoCo Shares, make a tax-deductible donation or donate artificial trees, tree stands, Christmas lights or ornaments, contact <mailto:”firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com or visit http://nocoshares.org. For more information about the CSFS Volunteer Program, visit the CSFS Volunteer web page.