A Beloved Holiday TraditionEvery December, AWB hosts the state's Holiday Kids’ Tree Lighting Ceremony in Olympia. It's a time of holiday joy and generosity. To be part of this project, donate online here or find more information here:
This event features two incredible arms of giving to our community. First, the holiday tree -- donated by an AWB
member -- is decorated with toys which are then donated to a children's hospital after New Year's. Second, we honor the culmination of fundraising efforts to bring food and toy
donations to rural low income families. Just before the tree lighting event begins, we present a grant donation to rural fire districts. These fire districts in turn distribute toys and food to deserving families during the Christmas season. It has become a tradition for the governor, fire departments, families and citizens to then be present during the lighting of the official Capitol Christmas tree.
Please join us for the public tree lighting ceremony sponsored by AWB on Friday, December 6 at 6 p.m. at the Capitol Rotunda in Olympia. Click here for a map of the Capitol Campus. For more information, contact AWB's Susie Griffin.
Bringing Smiles to ChildrenMission: The Holiday Kids' Tree mission is to provide gifts/toys and food to families in need during the holiday season in the Washington state rural and small town areas where there is no access to donation facilities. The Holiday Kids' Tree Project started in 1989. Since then, AWB has coordinated thousands of gifts and more than $438,000 in cash donations from individuals and organizations each winter holiday season. The donations are then distributed to families in need by fire departments in rural counties in both eastern and western Washington. This fills a great need for families in rural areas who do not have access to large city donation sites. For some children, these are the only gifts they receive during the holiday season.
Program Goals: This project desires to reach children in need in rural areas as well as general family needs. We solicit funds from our members and welcome any contributions from the general public. We have many citizens who have donated to this project for many years. Each year, our goal is to raise funds to provide $1,000.00 each to 18 rural fire departments in Washington state to purchase toys and food for the families in need. In addition, AWB provides stuffed dolls or animals, along with other decorations, to decorate the tree in the State Rotunda. When the tree is taken down, the stuffed dolls or animals along with a book, are donated to an area Children's Hospital.
Program Distinctions: Because we host the state tree lighting ceremony each year, our project has become very well-known and well-received by many citizens. Each year, the media covers our event and gives attention to the funds provided for the rural area fire departments to distribute. The fire departments chosen to receive the grant money attend the event and receive their checks and toys. Our tree lighter is a locally nominated hero, and typically the governor hosts the event and presents the gifts to the fire departments.
Communication/advertisement of funds: Each year we publicize the names of our contributors and the total amount raised on our website, at the tree lighting ceremony, and in a letter to our contributors.
For more information, contact AWB’s Susie Griffin at 360.943.1600 or Susieg@awb.org.
To help support this festive charity outreach, donate here.