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Local church says your typical holiday tradition could change someone’s life

Published: Nov. 27, 2020 at 11:43 PM EST
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Hephzibah, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Black Friday is all about the deals, but some shoppers were asking to pay more than the price tag.

At Oasis Church in Hephzibah, the smell of fresh pine and newly cut wood is a tradition this time of year. They’ve been participating in the “Buy a Tree. Change a Life” program for years now. Every cent of proceeds goes to kids in need, both locally and globally. It’s why tree shoppers were excited to spare a little more money.

“This is our 7th year in the project. Over 6 seasons, we’ve raised over $300,000, and this year we should go over $350,000 with all 7 years ,” said Pastor Wesley Weatherford.

The rows of trees are priced fairly and competitively, but some sell for much more as people get into the spirit of giving.

“They’ll buy a tree for $200, $300, $400 or $500. We’ve sold trees for $2,000. We do that, that happens every year,” said Pastor Weatherford. He said the large donation is never necessary, but always appreciated.

The program funds different events and charities the church runs for children. Some of the biggest locally are their annual backpack drive, Christmas child program, bike drive, and birthday program for children of Hope House.

Globally, the money goes to educational resources for children in Cambodia and Isreal.

Pastor Weatherford said the best thing about the program is that after the gifts are unwrapped, and the tree has hit the curb, the impact of your dollar sticks around.

“They’re still making an impact even after the tree is gone. I love that about ‘Buy a Tree. Change a Life,’” he said.

While you stock up on presents for your new tree, the people at the Boys and Girls Clubs hope you’ll think about them too. They are looking for unwrapped toys, new coats, and canned food donations at their administrative office off Milledgeville Road by December 18.

The Family Y is looking for new bedding, stuffed animals, and bibles for their “Place to Dream” program. These can be dropped off at any YMCA location through to the end of the year.

They also need donations for their new child development academy. The wishlist can be found here.

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