Hendrick Honda Supports the Un-Trim-A-Tree
Every year in our community, Volunteer Prince William hosts a holiday gift program called “Un-Trim-A-Tree.” It’s a time during the holidays when worshippers of all faiths, businesses, and families can come together to make a difference in our community.
What is Un-Trim-A-Tree?
The 30-year-old holiday gift program runs with the help of the Volunteer Prince William organization, and has for more than 15 years. Last year, 5,600 children who wouldn’t receive Christmas presents were “adopted” by donors. Every child is asked for their holiday present wishes and donors are asked to provide at least two. The expected total value of the presents is $50-75, but many donors provide much more.
Mary Foley is the Executive Director of Volunteer Prince William and runs the program. Foley and her team receive the children’s names as referrals from the Department of Social Services, Head Start staff, or counselors from area schools.
“These are professionals working with the children regularly and they pick children based on their level of economic need,” Foley said. “For instance, the Head Start staff waits until the first, really frigid day and any of the children without coats move to the top of the list.”
It’s More than the Children
During the Un-Trim-A-Tree campaign, donors can also give to homebound senior citizens in the community. The patrons of the local Meals on Wheels program receive small gift bags from the program. The program provides about 200 meals each day during the lunch hour. This is a way donors can share the joy of the season with the elderly community.
“The program has grown–but we won’t let it get too big,” Foley said. “We focus on the kindness of the season and the need in our community. Also, the Meals on Wheels volunteers are sometimes the only human interaction our homebound seniors get in a day. There is a lot of need and there are lots of people we don’t reach.”
How Does Hendrick Help?
Here at Hendrick Honda, we don’t simply adopt a child or two, we adopt an entire school. At Potomac View Elementary School, every student is in danger of not receiving Christmas presents without the Un-Trim-A-Tree program.
“Many people in the north Woodbridge community are involved, but Hendrick has adopted that specific school– Potomac View –for several years,” Foley said. “Hendrick also seems to bring their whole circle together for the project, including customers, vendors, and employees.”
Part of the fun for Hendrick employees is grabbing the keys to a couple of the new Honda Odysseys and filling them up with the toys. It’s a little like Christmas at the school when the toys are all dropped off.
“Hendrick Honda is so socially responsible and they are always looking for that other little thing they can do to help in the community,” Foley said. “They know every kid watches the same tv shows and sees the same commercials for toys. They see and know what’s out there. Often, with their economic situation, they only see what they can’t have. That’s what this is about, brand-spanking new gifts and making their Christmas special.”
How Can You Help?
Get involved with Un-Trim-A-Tree this year. Stop by Hendrick Honda in person or send a note through the website for more information. The collection of donations will end before school lets out for the holiday, so don’t miss your chance to be Santa’s helper this year.