Some local organizations have been selling Christmas trees across Arlington for generations. But as parishioners at Clarendon United Methodist Church are finding out, there’s always room for one more.
The church over the past weekend kicked off its very first tree sale, hoping to find homes for 150 Canaan firs and fraser firs trucked in from New York, where snow already has fallen.
After arriving via flatbed truck, the trees were unloaded by members of the boys and girls basketball teams at Wakefield High School.
Student support was “wonderful,” said Karen Darner, a parishioner who is helping to oversee operations at the sale. Darner said Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops associated with the church also were supplying eager volunteers.
The church has not sold Christmas trees in recent memory, but Rev. Tracy Wines had overseen a sale at her previous assignment at Vale United Methodist Church in Fairfax County, and those attending Clarendon UMC thought they would give it a try.
Lindsey Kirkwood, who led the planning, said they had a financial goal in mind. While not making it public, Kirkwood was upbeat: “We think we’ll exceed it,” she said.
The early going suggested success was a distinct probability, as customers already were on hand even before the official opening on Nov. 26.
“It’s been a nonstop stream,” Kirkwood said of those dropping by to peruse the offerings.
Sales will run until Dec. 10 or until all trees are gone.
Darner said the public seemed happy with the available selection. “People want narrower trees because of the space in their homes,” she said. “Each one has been just gorgeous.”
Income from sales will benefit three organizations: Stop Hunger Now, the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN) and Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC). Forty dollars from each purchase is tax-deductible.
Charles Meng, AFAC’s executive director, said his organization and the church “have had a long and important relationship, first as one of the original congregations that supported the work of AFAC and, ever since, as our Saturday distribution site.”
“The support of Clarendon UMC helps AFAC raise the $6.6 million it will take to fulfill our mission of helping the least fortunate in our community,” Meng said.
Sales are taking place at the church parking lot, located in the 600 block of North Irving Street. For information, see the Web site at www.clarendonumc.org.