The foster home cares for twenty children, aged 2 to 20, and depends on the annual tree sale to pay for the home’s utility and operational costs for the entire year.
Each day, the home’s staff and teenage residents sell the trees from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. from under a large, white tent erected on the home’s front lawn. The home’s teens contribute by putting wreaths together for sale, helping customers load their purchases into cars, and cleaning up at the end of every day.
With the fluctuating cost of utilities, the home can never be sure exactly how much they must earn each year to cover expenses, but hope that sales are plentiful enough to keep the lights on.
The home forgoes state or federal funding, instead relying on donations from the community and fundraisers to keep the home running for the children whose parents are unable to support them.
SoftRock Community Outreach is highlighting the work done by the volunteers at the foster home by collecting donations and toys from the community to provide the home’s residents with Christmas presents this year.
Terri Gladwell, the President of SoftRock Outreach, said that the home’s educational slant deserves the community’s attention.
“This is an organization that relies on the kindness of strangers to do good work,” Gladwell said. “One small thing we can do is raise awareness of the home’s mission, which is to not only care for the kids’ basic needs, but prepare them for life with a top-flight education.”
The awareness campaign is one part of the Outreach Committee’s Month of Miracles, an annual effort to highlight local children’s causes.
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About Central Florida Children’s Home: Founded in 1973, the Central Florida Children’s Home strives to provide ample education and character-building tasks for the children, which gives them experience and skills necessary to become contributing members of society.
About SoftRock Community Outreach: The charitable arm of SoftRock, Inc., the Outreach Committee raises money for local causes year-round through raffles, yard sales and other fund raising opportunities.