Free Christmas trees

Evergreen Helicopters embraced the spirit of giving by donating 100 live Christmas trees to local underprivileged families and first responders in the Abbeville community.

Barry Guidry, business development manager for Evergreen Helicopters, said the donation is an Evergreen tradition, which was started at the corporate office in Oregon. Guidry said Evergreen has an agricultural division, which is distributing some 500 Christmas trees to the needy and first responders in communities throughout the state of Louisiana and throughout the country.

“We try to make Christmas (merrier) to some of the less fortunate families in the community,” Guidry said.

Guidry said with the help of Abbeville Mayor Mark Piazza, about 10 City employees, and the Louisiana National Guard, Evergreen is able to find where there is a need and coordinate the distribution of the Christmas trees.

Elbert Dawon, president of the board at Herod Village, a non-profit agency that helps various groups within the Abbeville community, said the donation brings the Christmas spirit to life in a symbolic way.

To his clients, Dawson said, Christmas trees “mean hope.” He added “there are a lot of things going on in the world today. The birth of Christ is hope in itself; hope for the world. The tree displays that better than anything else, especially with the star on top.” Dawson said Herod Village is a non-profit organization in Abbeville that assists people who are undergoing hardship, whether they are financial, family problems or catastrophic events, such as fires.

“(Our services) are always open to the general public,” Dawson said, adding that the Christmas trees will be donated to families that wish to receive them.

This year, Evergreen donated more than 75 trees to Herod Village. In addition to donating to Vermilion Parish, Guidry said trees will be distributed throughout Acadiana and the state to families and organizations who were selected to receive the trees.

“It already seems to be a huge success,” Guidry commented. “We’re excited to see the results.” Guidry added “Evergreen as a company is slowly becoming a larger presence here. We look forward to continuing to support the local municipalities and local organizations in the community.”

Article and photo by Rachel Worthy, rworthy@gmail.com

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