Now that Christmas is over, the streets of Edinburgh are strewn with discarded Christmas trees. However, when the festive period began in November, thousands of shoppers bought Christmas trees for homeless people after an annual fundraiser encouraged Scots to think differently about Christmas trees last year.
Bethany Christian Trust sold more than 3,000 Caring Christmas trees to people across the central belt. Customers included residents and local businesses in Edinburgh and the Lothians, Fife and Glasgow. This raised a remarkable £40k for homeless people in Scotland with the funds going directly towards the charity’s Care Shelter and other winter projects. The Care Shelter provides a hot meal and a safe place to sleep for folk who have nowhere to go during the winter months.
Iain Gordon, Chief Executive at Bethany Christian Trust said: “Hundreds of people had somewhere warm and dry to spend Christmas. Thanks to the incredible generosity of people who bought a Caring Christmas tree, Bethany can support and care for people who would otherwise have been sleeping rough over the festive season. We are immensely grateful to everyone who bought a tree in 2017.”
Commenting on the success of this year’s programme Susan Smith, Project Coordinator at Bethany Christian Trust, said: “I am delighted about the response from Christmas shoppers and their commitment to purchase with purpose last Christmas. Every Caring Christmas Tree purchased with help someone in need this winter, so I am pleased that we were able to sell over 3,100 trees across Scotland.”
Established in 1983, Bethany Christian Trust supports over 7,000 people across Scotland. The charity’s services focus on preventing homelessness as well as alleviating the suffering of people who are homeless.