SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — For many families, decorating the Christmas tree is a tradition. But, some organizations in Scranton, take part to benefit the greater good.
‘Out of this world,’ themed Christmas trees line Courthouse Square in the Electric City for Scranton’s annual Festival of Trees, hosted by the Lackawanna County Department of Arts and Culture.
“What I really love about this event is the diversity of organizations that come together because they care so much and they want to give both money and time to creating these beautiful trees,” said Maureen McGuigan, the Director of Arts and Culture for Lackawanna County.
There are 25 trees on display, each costing $25 to decorate, and Arts and Culture matches this price and donates the proceeds to a good cause, Toys for Tots.
The purpose behind the Festival of Trees is based on something much greater than decorating these twinkling pines. It’s all about giving back to families in need during the holiday season, specifically children.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to help children in the area at this time and it’s great to work with the Marines,” McGuigan added.
The Marine Corps Toys For Tot’s mission is to make sure every child gets a gift on Christmas. Each year, striving to reach more children.
“We were able to, with the help of the community, help out 16,000 children. This year being our 75 anniversary, I’m trying to exceed that amount,” said Toys For Tots Coordinator, Staff Sergeant Sal Dely.
The program serves children ages 0 to 13.
“We’re trying our best to get these toys to families that are in need and just, ya, make sure that they’re all happy,” explained Sergeant Rafael Seferino, Toys For Tots Warehouse Manager.
Local families that need extra help this holiday season can apply on the local Toys For Tots website by clicking, ‘Apply for Toys.’
Those interested must apply by December 19 to receive their gifts before Christmas.
“My last delivery will be the 23rd, as my Marines need to take time to go enjoy their families,” added Staff Sgt Dely.
None of the Christmas magic made by Toys For Tots would be possible without the help of the community.
“It is really a broad community event and we all feel good about supporting Toys For Tots.”
Anyone can sign up to volunteer this Christmas on the Toys for Tots website.