Dane County church delivers hundreds of Christmas trees to those in need

FITCHBURG, Wis. – Volunteers from Chapel Valley Church in Madison delivered hundreds of Christmas trees across Dane County Saturday afternoon.

Pastor Jay Genin says for the last four years, the church has held a ‘Christmas in the Park’ event, but COVID-19 forced them to postpone it this year. He says that’s when the church began thinking of other ways to spread holiday cheer.

“We decided we still wanted to do our Christmas tree giveaway, so we decided let’s deliver the trees to the people,” Genin said.

On Saturday, friends, neighbors and church members stopped by Genin’s home in Fitchburg, where they loaded trees donated and paid for by the church and other supporters.

“It really does make me quite joyful and happy to see the smiles on people’s faces,” said Justin Shaffer, who delivered trees with his wife Carolyn. “Even if you don’t have much, this is what we’re going to give you.”

Genin said learning how much COVID-19 has impacted the community inspired him and others to make the deliveries possible.

“We’ve already received a lot of emails from people and just the desperate situation that they’re in,” he said. “They are very grateful and excited about the opportunity to have a tree. Kind of celebrate with a tradition that they’re used to.”

Most of all, Genin says he’s hopeful the trees will remind people of the reason for the holiday season.

“The Christmas tree is something that’s in people’s homes for the month, but our hope is that when people look at that tree, they’ll be reminded of the hope and goodness out in the world and the good things that we’ve received.”