A Christmas Surprise

18 February 2021

With the cancellation of the Christmas Tree Fundraiser, the opportunity to raise much-needed funds to assist in providing non-funded supports for our participants was missed.  We were fortunate, however, to recently receive a very generous donation from our tree supplier, Dandenong Christmas Farm. This was a welcome surprise and a great start for 2021.

Each year the Dandenong Christmas Tree Farm provides us with the trees at a marked down wholesale price, to allow us to make a profit on the sale of our trees. 

This year, instead of risking the health and wellbeing of our participants, staff and community, we redirected the community to purchase their trees direct from the farm – in an open-air environment, where social distancing was possible and at-risk individuals were not on site.

Despite a bleak year in 2020, farm co-owners Neil and Neale reported a significant growth in profit from Christmas tree sales.  They also noted that a significant number of former OCC Christmas customers purchased their trees direct from the farm.  Thank you to those of you who managed to make it to the farm and show your support.

The donation from the tree farm is not only in recognition of the additional business they received from OCC, but to show their continued support and commitment to helping people with disabilities.

The Christmas Tree fundraiser was initially started by a family member of the Oakleigh Centre over 50 years ago.  When Neil and Neale took over the farm, they wanted to continue to support the work that OCC undertakes and have done so by providing low-cost trees for us to sell to the community.

In addition to the farm’s generous donation, they encouraged neighbouring farm, Fresh Christmas Trees, to also donate.

Therese Desmond, CEO and Fleur Haberfield, Manager Marketing and Communications, visited Neil in Officer to say thank you in person and present him with a Certificate of Appreciation.  This is a relationship that OCC values and hopes to continue into the future.

Photo top of page: Therese Desmond, CEO OC Connections presenting Neil at Dandenong Christmas Tree Farm with a Certificate of Appreciation.