Hutton Settlement holds annual Christmas tree farm fundraiser

They’re best known for kicking off the holiday season and for the presents underneath them, but at the Hutton Settlement, Christmas trees take on a whole new meaning — because every tree sold at its farm doubles as a donation to kids in need.

The children’s home has taken in children for the last 100 years. Over the years, those kids have felt the impact of addiction, abuse and neglect but now, they’re looking to make an impact of their own. They say they can’t do it without those donations.

“I kind of just want to give back to Hutton because they provided 10 years of experiences for me, helped me grow into the person I am today,” said Trevor McArthur, a Hutton alumni who now serves as the home’s Christmas tree farm manager. “Growing up at Hutton was great because there’s so many different staff and kids that are willing to accept you and accept you as family even though you’re not blood-related. Because family is what you make it.”

As their parents struggled with addiction and illness, McArthur found a new kind family — and themselves — at Hutton, alongside Roxy Frederickson.

“My mom was a drug addict. My dad was dealing with heroin,” Frederickson said. “It has beat them down so hard and I just don’t want that for me and I don’t want to go down that path of addiction… And I don’t want that — if I ever have kids — I don’t want that for my kids, either.”

Like McArthur, she’s setting out to make sure that doesn’t happen by immersing herself in Hutton, in its leadership and recreation programs, and its tree farm — where every tree serves as a donation to grow those programs.

“Hutton is different than a lot of family settings but it is a good place and a good alternative for kids who don’t have that,” Frederickson said. “I’m just so thankful to be living here.”

McArthur and Frederickson will be helping families on the farm until Dec. 15 or when they run out of trees — whichever comes first. Trees start at $30 and will be sold alongside garland, poinsettias and wreaths every day of the week. The farm is open Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.