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Christmas trees help Whidbey Island groups

Habitat for Humanity of Island County Executive Director Calvin Hewitt grabs a tree for disposal by Pioneer Tree and Landscaping. The Friday disposal day served as a fund raiser for the Whidbey-based Habitat for Humanity chapter.  - Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times
Habitat for Humanity of Island County Executive Director Calvin Hewitt grabs a tree for disposal by Pioneer Tree and Landscaping. The Friday disposal day served as a fund raiser for the Whidbey-based Habitat for Humanity chapter.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times

Volunteers were busy disposing Christmas trees while helping a popular charity at the same time.

Pioneer Tree and Landscaping set up next to the greater Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce building Friday to throw people’s Christmas trees through the chipper while collecting donations for Habitat for Humanity of Island County.

Owner David Walton said his business provided the volunteer help and the chipper. The employees spent a cool Friday waiting for passersby to drop off their trees. They plan to use the remains of the trees on landscaping projects.

Volunteers disposed of approximately 15 trees and they raised a modest $120, but the effort was successful in getting the Habitat for Humanity name out in the community, said Calvin Hewitt, executive director for Habitat for Humanity of Island County.

Friday’s event was one of two opportunities people have to dispose of their trees and help a Whidbey community group.

Boy Scout Troop 4053, which is sponsored by the Central Whidbey Lions Club, will collect trees for recycling Sunday, Jan. 8. Scouts will pick up trees from Dugualla Bay Road south to Greenbank. Call 678-3263 to make arrangements and to make a donation to the Boy Scouts.

Pioneer Tree and Landscaping has helped Habitat for Humanity in the past. They often chip in to build driveways and help landscape around the newly built homes.

Habitat for Humanity of Island County had a busy 2011. Volunteers built five homes in 2011.

“Seven adults and 13 children celebrated the holidays in a new home,” Hewitt said, adding that 500 volunteers provided 15,000 hours of support to Habitat.

In addition, the organization opened up a second store in Freeland that provides a slight difference in goods offered compared to the one in Oak Harbor. While the Pioneer Way store sells gently used furniture, the Freeland location also provides used building materials and appliances.

In addition to building homes, Habitat for Humanity is trying to set up a program to help homeowners who aren’t able to make needed repairs to their house.

Hewitt said Habitat will undertake the tree disposal fundraiser again. He hopes that it will be more visible on Whidbey, which in turn will make for a more successful event.

 

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