JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Jessamine County Chamber of Commerce is using Christmas trees to help children.
A Christmas Tree Trail is on display this week at the chamber’s building in Nicholasville. The trees will be auctioned off to help students affected by homelessness.
"These kids in our county are truly experiencing this all year long, so if this is a way for us to raise money that turns it around and can help them throughout the whole year, then what better way to bring in some Christmas spirit?” said Ronda May, the Executive Director of the Jessamine County Chamber of Commerce.
There are 23 trees on display that were decorated and donated by local businesses and organizations.
"Any way that we can get involved with our community, we're happy to do that,” said Mitchell Pearson, the Executive Director of the Nicholasville, Wilmore - Jessamine County Tourism Commission. “Put something together that's beautiful. You can share it with your community, but also raise money for a great cause."
This is the first time the chamber has held a tree trail and it’s a part of the St. Nich Christmas Festival. May says she was inspired by a larger but similar event she saw at Walt Disney World.
”I thought, “Why can’t we bring a little bit of that magical spirit back to Jessamine County?’” said May.
Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Jessamine County Schools' Homeless Education Program. Currently, there are about 181 students in the district affected by homelessness. Some students don’t even have a guardian.
The money will be used to buy hygiene products and other supplies, help transport kids to and from school, pay for extra summer tutoring, cover fees for scholarship applications and other non-educational needs. The goal is to not only help keep these kids in school, but also help them thrive.
”Donation dollars like this allow us to give students opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise,” said Shainey Marcus, the Homeless Liaison for Jessamine County Schools. "They are to be successful academically, emotionally, socially, and ultimately hopefully their family will be successful too, getting into housing and feeling more stable and being more successful as a family unit."
To bid on the trees, you can visit the chamber between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday. The auction ends Saturday, Dec. 14.