tis the season to continue to put people first: why we won’t be selling trees again this year
2021 has been proven to be another extraordinary year for all of Victoria and especially our staff, participants and their families. We’ve continued to work hard and adapt to the continual changes that COVID-19 has caused to ensure the safety of our OCC community and we will continue to do so for as long as we are faced with this virus. Even as restrictions ease, we will be faced with new challenges to the safety of our community. It is for this reason, that we have once again made the difficult decision to not run our annual Christmas Tree fundraiser this year.
Buying a tree from our Christmas Tree Fundraiser is an annual tradition for many families, including staff and participants as well as an important fundraising opportunity for OCC. The connection to our community that this fundraiser brings can’t be measured and we are disappointed that we will miss this opportunity to connect once again. However, as a disability services organisation, keeping our staff, volunteers and customers safe is always our top priority, and it’s the right decision to make. Social distancing with our Christmas Tree sales will be difficult, and we’d much rather see your smiling faces back in the new year rather than risk you or your loved ones getting ill.
You can still purchase your fresh Christmas Trees from our supplier, Dandenong Christmas Tree Farm, from 27 November and we encourage you to do this in order to support a business who has supported us over many years. Our houses will receive a tree from the farm in early December. At the start of this year, the farm donated a significant amount of money from their 2020 tree sales to OCC, which provided a much-needed boost to our fundraising efforts and one that we were extremely grateful for.
We also encourage you to spread the word to family and friends.
And, if you would like to support us to spread the Christmas cheer, you can do so by donating online.
This virus hasn’t beaten us yet and we plan to continue the Christmas tree tradition by returning, bigger and stronger, in 2022.
what is our christmas tree festival?
Our popular festival originally began in the 1960s in the backyard of Frank Burton, whose daughter attended our day support services. In time the festival grew to become our biggest fundraising event, attracting generations of families who regard buying one of our trees as a Christmas tradition.
Each year, more than 1500 trees are sold by a dedicated team of volunteers who give their time throughout the week and on weekends to help people find that perfect pine. The festival runs throughout December and relies on the support of our volunteers and community.
All funds raised from the sale of trees and decorations are used to fund supports and activities that are not funded by NDIS.
You can help support our future fundraising efforts through volunteering or donating. Find outmore about how to get involved at the links below.