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Gallatin Valley family donates trees for pay-what-you-can tree lot, benefits non-profits

Posted at 11:02 AM, Dec 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-07 13:02:36-05

As we navigate through these tough economic times, buying a Christmas tree might be a stretch for some families this year. That’s why the Visscher Family is hoping to spread some holiday cheer throughout the community by hosting a Pay-What-You-Can Tree Lot.

With the help of GVLT, The Visscher's donated over 200 trees from their conservation easement in Kelly Canyon to bring some joy into people’s homes this holiday season.

“This is the perfect combination of community and festivity and charity," said GVLT Executive Director Chet Work.

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Trees were sold for whatever amount families could afford to pay, and in the spirit of giving, any money that was made is going right back into the hands of the community to support several different non-profits: HRDC, GVLT, the Help Center, and Montana Conservation Corps.

“We’re splitting the proceeds, but if there are families that can’t afford a tree elsewhere and can’t afford a tree here, we will give them a tree," added Chet Works. "If that means we don’t get any proceeds, that’s still a great outcome for all of us.”

Having the opportunity to bring home a Christmas Tree shined some joy on what’s been a difficult year for most people, like Jocelyn Barndwell, who is waiting for a heart transplant.

"With just getting the LVAD Placement, it’s been really hard this year," said Jocelyn Barndwell. "I’m just like, how’s everything going to happen? Now I get to go bring a tree home to my kids and decorate it and it will be a start to a good Christmas.”

Trees will be available at the Feed Cafe until Saturday, Dec. 5 between the hours of 4 p.m. to 8 pm. Trees are limited, so it's first come first serve.