The Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington says its ninth annual Trees for Tots event raised a record-breaking $93,000 over the weekend.
Around 4,100 old Christmas trees were collected by volunteers on Saturday for a small fee that helps fund the foundation’s programming.
This year’s total amount raised exceeds last year’s by about $25,000.
“This year was a big jump from last year, which was to be expected after seeing how fast tree farms sold out of trees this year,” said Emma Rogers, CEO of the Foundation.
“Between many families staying home this year instead of travelling, as well as an increase in those who wanted to support those in need this holiday season, we knew we would see an increase in numbers, but we are blown away by the support we’ve seen this year.”
She added that raising an additional $25,000 will allow the organization to help even more children.
“Whether that is by giving them the opportunity to achieve their post-secondary school dreams, providing them with nutritious food, or even helping them register in sports, those dollars will go a long way to support the children and youth in our community,” Rogers said.
All of the trees collected are being recycled. Some mulch will be sent to Ignatius Jesuit Centre for their walking trails, whereas others will be kept whole and donated to organizations such as Trout Unlimited Canada for creek restoration projects.
Organizers noted the collection of the trees was deemed an essential service amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Every volunteer was given a safety kit upon arrival which included masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer donated by Spring Mill Distillery,” said Brenda Walsh with the Children’s Foundation.
“They were also COVID screened before starting their volunteer shift. Anyone working outside was asked to continue to keep their distance wherever needed, and anyone driving in the event was driving with a member of their household only.”