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Leadership Coshocton to have Christmas tree drive

| October 17, 2019

COSHOCTON – One of the many traditions of the upcoming holiday season is decorating the house with tinsel and lights in preparation for Christmas. Arguably, the most important decoration is the Christmas tree which is usually the focal point of all Christmas decorations.

Leadership Coshocton County is determined to provide enough Christmas trees this year with a Christmas tree drive to people who need it most in our community, the victims of the West Lafayette flood last summer.

“We were helping some people clean out their basement and while we were there, we were talking about the holidays,” said Autumn Hendershot who organized the drive. “I heard people say, well I’ve got to start from scratch because I had to throw my decorations away because of the sewer water. A lot of them have kids and Christmas trees are not cheap. So, I wanted to ease their burden, and a Christmas tree is the main decoration. When you think of Christmas, you think of a tree.”

Leadership is currently accepting monetary donations of $125, which is the amount needed to purchase one tree. Hendershot picked out a tree for that amount and plans to purchase the same tree for each family.

Please make checks payable to West Lafayette United Methodist Church and in the memo line, write ‘Christmas Tree Drive’. The drive will be held until Thursday, Oct. 31.

“I’m a teacher at Ridgewood and I also lead a non-profit workout called Orange and Black Get Fit and with that, I’ve made a lot of friends,” said Hendershot. “I got this idea because a lot of my friends’ homes were destroyed in the flood and they lost everything.”

The goal is to raise enough money for 20 trees. Checks can be given to any member of Leadership Coshocton County or directly at the West Lafayette United Methodist Church.

“It was just the natural thing to do,” said Matt Anderson, pastor of the West Lafayette United Methodist Church. “Pastor Dan Eggan and I went down multiple times and asked people what they lost, and a lot of people said they lost their Christmas decorations.”

Anderson will call the families and surprise them with a new tree sometime in November. Trees can be picked up at the church, 120 W. Union Ave., West Lafayette.

“I’ve seen first-hand what the damage has done to my friends,” said Hendershot. “I want to make it easier for people around the holidays. I work with children and I know being in an elementary school setting that Christmas is so important to these kids. I don’t want families to feel burdened with buying a tree. Having a tree for a child represents innocence and Santa Claus, and a Christmas tree means a lot for a child.”

Anderson hopes that by providing these trees to the families of West Lafayette that they can bring some joy back into the holiday season.

“When we visited these families, we established a relationship with them and this is a great opportunity to continue that relationship especially during the holiday season,” said Anderson. “A lot of them are families and they have to provide presents for Christmas and a tree is just one more thing they have to buy. It also brings an element of joy to these people and that’s what we want to do for these families is to bring joy back into their lives, especially around the holidays.”

For more information on the Christmas Tree Drive, contact Hendershot at 740-624-1617 or Anderson at 740-545-6368.

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Category: People & Places

Beth Scott

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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