Trees lined up ready for donating to families in the North Moore area

Operation Christmas Tree, spearheaded by Elizabeth Sugg and Michelle Kaiser, and underwritten by the Southern Pines Garden Club (SPGC) and its members, successfully delivered 60 Christmas trees, decorations, holiday hams and books recently to the Northern Moore Family Resource Center (NMFRC).

Located in Robbins, NMFRC is the home of a grant-funded preschool called HOPE (Harnessing Opportunity — Promoting Education) Academy, which serves between 50 and 55 children at full capacity and half that amount under current COVID-19 restrictions. They also provide an after-school program for Robbins Elementary, Westmoore Elementary, and Elise Middle School, as well as outreach classes for new parents and other family-oriented services.

Their annual Santa’s Workshop, held Dec. 18-19, offered parents an opportunity to “shop” for their children among donated items for all ages. This year, due to the coronavirus, each child registered will receive a gift bag featuring two articles of clothing, a pair of shoes, a book and a toy. Gift cards, funded generously by area churches, private individuals, and the NMFRC Board, will be provided for the children as well. New to the NMFRC this year are the free live Christmas trees.

Konni McMurray, president of the SPGC, congratulated the leaders on the effort, saying, “I am impressed with the speed and creativity of this project. It is amazing what the group was able to accomplish in less than 48 hours!”

“SPGC would like to thank Floyd Kennedy, manager of Mistletoe Meadows, Jim McDermott of Food Lion, Rubicon Farm and The Country Bookshop for their help in making this worthwhile project a success,” says a member.

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