Christmas trees for a cause: how to buy your tree and donate to a local children’s home
SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — If you’re still on the hunt for your Christmas tree, you might have some luck at one Spokane Valley farm where buying a tree also doubles as donating to the Hutton Settlement, a home for abandoned and abused children.
“The Hutton Settlement is really a safe haven for our community’s most vulnerable,” said director of community relations Jessica Laughery. “We provide to both private placements and state placements here at the settlement, giving kids a second opportunity for a family. The tree farm helps fund that. It’s really our only fundraiser of the year.”
Kids like 16-year-old Gavin McArthur help families find their trees, which range from $40 to $70 in you-pick and pre-cut varieties.
“I get to meet new people. I get to help people out. I really enjoy working outdoors,” said McArthur.
McArthur has been living at the Hutton Settlement and helping with the Christmas tree farm for the past nine years. He came to the home after he was abused by his father and then by his foster parent.
“My father was on drugs, so he used to abuse my brother and I,” he said. “My mother had multiple sclerosis so I barely ever knew her but she couldn’t take care of us.”
McArthur said ever since he stepped foot in Hutton, it’s been non-stop growth as he participates in leadership and recreation programs. Sales at the tree farm help build on those programs.
“Being here has definitely shaped my life. It’s changed me a lot as a person,” McArthur said. “I don’t know where I would be without the Hutton Settlement. They’ve helped me go through a lot of problems in my life. They’ve helped me grow up.”
The people and kids who work and live at the home hold that growth can continue with your help. The Hutton Settlement Christmas tree farm is open from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the weekend, while supplies last. Laughery expects the trees to sell out this weekend.
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