A Christmas tree is the center of most families holiday decor. But for households who can't afford a holiday tree, many simply go without. An Illinois business has partnered with the Salvation Army to help make a tree a reality for needy families, and this year the program has expanded to the Milwaukee area.
Treetime Christmas Creations and the Salvation Army are teaming up for the second year in a row to gather donated artificial Christmas trees that will go to the less fortunate. Anyone who donates their old tree will receive a 15 percent discount on a new one from Treetime from now until Oct. 31.
Milwaukee-area residents should just call 1-800-SATRUCK and indicate they have a tree to donate. The Salvation Army truck will pick up their tree and provide a discount code to use at treetime.com.
Treetime owners Laurie and Joe Kane came up with the idea last year as a way to help those in need.
“A lot of customers were coming in and they wanted to replace their tree, but they didn’t necessarily want to just throw away their old tree. They wanted to find a good home for it,” Laurie said. “We figured it was a great way to help people who might need a tree and help customers feel good about doing something for others.”
In 2011, more than 200 trees were donated to the cause. Some common reasons for trading in a tree could be moving to a smaller or larger home, or simply desiring the advanced technology newer trees provide.
“A lot of the old trees that come back are the stab style where you have to build your tree. The new trees are on hinges and just fold up,” Joe said. “It’s like an umbrella,” Laurie added.
Another perk to a new tree is the ProTime lighting system many offer. With ProTime, you don’t need to worry about replacing lights when one bulb breaks.
“A lot of the trees you see are the classic lights where if a bulb burns out, the rest will stay lit. But if a bulb becomes broken or anything like that, the rest of the strands end up gone,” Joe said. “On ProTime lights it protects against all of that stuff.”