Those in need get trees on Christmas Eve

Posted at 7:02 AM, Dec 24, 2014

In western New York, the season of giving continues on Christmas Eve. Many are helping those in need celebrate the holiday.

A line of hundreds of trees were lined up outside of the Philip Sheridan School on Elmwood Avenue on the morning of Christmas Eve.

The trees were placed outside on Wednesday for the tree giveaway. Hundreds of families in need come every year for a free Christmas tree in order to celebrate the holiday.

This tradition has been going on for 26 years. In 2013, about 300 trees were given away. During the recession around 2008 and 2009, 400 families came to the giveaway for trees.

Organizers say this is a true testament to the care for the community in western New York.

Every year, Arida Tree Farmers and North Town Nursery donate trees. Event organizer and former Erie County Legislator Chuck Swanick says other tree growers drop off trees anonymously as well.

Volunteers also come out to help load trees on top of vehicles about 15-20 people usually volunteer at a time.

The giveaway lasts from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Christmas Eve at 3200 Elmwood Avenue in the Town of Tonawanda.

Even after the giveaway, trees will be left outside for people to take trees.

Afterwards, the Town of Tonawanda Highway Department mulches the remaining trees.