Lehigh Valley

Christmas tree giveaway serves hundreds in need

"People just want to be loved."

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Hundreds of families in Allentown now have a new Christmas tree, thanks to the City Limits Assembly of God church.

The church holds a Christmas tree giveaway every year, serving people in need during the holidays.

"I'm a single mom so it's kind of hard," said Nancy Colon of Allentown.

Colon picked up a free Christmas tree Friday night with her 8-year-old daughter, Ana.  She says the giveaway brings some relief this holiday season.

"It means a lot because you know, me working by myself, it's easier because I don't have any help," said Colon.

For Colon, and so many others, the holidays are tough, which is why Pastor Jimmy Rivera of City Limits Assembly of God started the Christmas tree giveaway more than 20 years ago.

"People are people, people just want to be loved, cared for, needed, accepted for who they are and so that's all that we want to do," said Rivera.

Rivera says two decades ago he had a pick-up truck with a few “Charlie Brown” trees and now the donations come pouring in with hundreds of full-size trees ready to light up a living room.

"I'm going to put my ornaments that I made on it," said Ana, Nancy Colon's daughter.

After snagging a tree, people could have it trimmed for free.

There was also a station set up where volunteers made wreaths out of the trimmings.

There were much more than just trees up for grabs at the giveaway, the church also handed out hundreds of winter coats, food and even bicycles for the children.

"It's such a nice time of year to be around the community," said Katie Poole from Northampton.

And for Nancy and Ana, the generosity of the community is a Christmas gift they'll cherish all season.

"It does mean a lot," said Colon.

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