‘Festival of Trees’ is keeping families in mind, keeping traditions alive safely during pandemic


GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT) — A non-profit group in the east is continuing its tradition of showcasing Christmas trees during the holiday season and organizers are not letting COVID stop their event supporting families of special needs children.

The Family Support Network connects families, all working together for support. They hold support groups and other inclusive family events.

Those efforts are made possible through the group’s annual Festival of Trees. 45 different trees are now being lined up and decorated at the Greenville Convention Center. Each tree has a different sponsor and a unique theme. This is the 25th year for the fundraiser.

Organizers tell 9 On Your Side it’s one way to show they have the backs of families of special needs children.

“Despite COVID or some isolation they might be experiencing at this time, that The Family Support Network is here, that we are still celebrating them and their accomplishments and that the community is more aware of our mission,” said Kelly Phillips, Family Support Network.

The organization helps families across more than a dozen eastern counties. Leaders say this fundraiser is critical to making sure the family support network continues its mission and services.

Bur COVID is leading to some changes organizers are still putting trees on display, but they’re offering a virtual option for people who want to see them safely. It will be a Facebook Live event on December first.

“and we wanted to make sure that even though we have COVID that we can adjust and be able to create these experiences for the families we serve in the community. That’s what we are about. figuring out a way to meet families’ needs,” said Phillips.

The public is welcome to view the trees at the Greenville Convention Center starting Monday and running through December 23rd. The display is open from 8:30 am to 5 pm, and it’s free of charge. But organizers welcome donations.

The Facebook live event will be December 1st at 4pm. Click HERE for more information.

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