The way I got my service hours this semester was through volunteering at a Christmas Tree Farm through the organization Buy a Tree Change a Life. This organization partners with corporate sponsors to donate Christmas Trees to churches. Because of these generous gifts of these organizations, churches are able to give one hundred precent of the proceeds from tree sales to local and global missions. For example, my home church, Cornerstone Church in Southaven Mississippi, partners with Southaven Elementary to gift every child with a Christmas gift. This is only possible through the money raised through Buy a Tree Change a Life.
Because of how meaningful I found the purpose of Buy a Tree Change a Life, I decided to hold off on my volunteer hours until the Christmas tree farm opened up. I got my service hours by helping on a Christmas tree farm every night during the week of Thanksgiving. Volunteering here included moving trees and selling trees, cutting limbs, helping bag trees, and helping secure trees on top of cars.
Not only did this volunteer opportunity allow me to play lumberjack for a week, it also allowed me to interact with members of my community. Seeing the smiles on kids faces as they got to pick out their Christmas tree truly made the cold nights and hard work more than worthwhile. I was also inspired by the generosity of those who bought their trees. Many people often times gave more than was asked for the price of the trees. This truly taught me a lot about the goodness of people.
If someone else is interested in volunteering through Buy a Tree Change a Life, I would highly encourage them to look into ways they can partner with this organization next holiday season.
Braden Potts is a sophomore Luckyday Scholar majoring in sports management.