What’s Good in the Neighborhood: 20th Annual Festival of Trees

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Although Christmas might still be a few weeks away, the Wiregrass Children’s Home rang in the holiday a little early and it wasn’t just to get an early start on Christmas shopping. It’s what’s good in the neighborhood.

The Wiregrass Children’s Home hosted its 20th annual Festival of Trees; an event created to raise funds for neglected and abused children who live right here in the Wiregrass.

“It could be something as simple as their parents not being able to provide typical things like food, clothing, and shelter for them,” house parent Quentin Brasfield said. “Or it could be things as if they’re being abused in multiple different ways.”

The money raised at the gala goes straight to the children and parents the home supports. To raise funds, Wiregrass businesses and residents spend weeks planning and decorating elaborate Christmas-themed decorations that are auctioned off the night of the event. One of the most eagerly-anticipated decorations are the Christmas trees.

“It’s a big deal,” tree organizer Olivia McDaniel said. “It needs to look special.”

Trees of every shape, size, and theme surround bidders as they compete to outbid competitors and take home their favorite Christmas decoration.

Although the competition is exciting, the best part is what happens as the price of each auction item gets higher and higher.

“To be able to bid on these beautifully-decorated Christmas trees for money for the Wiregrass Children’s Home, all the funds go to the kids and that’s what makes it so important,” Carpetland USA owner/president Bob Caputo said.

That reason is why some members have been a part of this organization for decades.

“I’ve been on the board of the Wiregrass Children’s Home for twenty something years and people are so generous,” McDaniel said. “The community has really supported us.”

At the end of the day, supporters of the Wiregrass Children’s Home said the event is simply a way to serve the children.

“When it comes to taking care of children of God and being able to make sure that you sew the seeds to provide for them whether it be a meal or an outfit, you don’t know what your funds are going to go to, but rest assured it’s going to go to taking care of these kids and that alone is enough in my opinion,” Brasfield said.

Loving and serving one another anytime of the year. It’s what’s good in the neighborhood.

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