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Christmas Tree Santas Deliver Joy To Families In Need

BOSTON (CBS) - The Christmas Tree Santas are about to deliver their own brand of holiday joy to families in need, and that means a lot of smiles in the Boston area. The Santas are all volunteers, and without them, some kids wouldn't have a tree this Christmas.

"All right guys, we've got some Christmas trees!" yells Alex Gramling, the founder of Christmas Tree Santas. Gramling and a group of volunteers are unloading 300 trees from Canada at the Spencer Peirce Little Farm in Newbury.

Christmas tree Santas
Alex Gramling of Christmas Tree Santas (WBZ-TV)

"We just try to spread hope and joy during the holidays by giving away free Christmas trees to needy families," Gramling says. He got the idea five years ago after meeting a single mom struggling to afford a tree. "I was able to help her out and her gratitude and joy in receiving this gift was so inspiring that I decided we could help other families with their Christmas," he says.

That spirit has spread to six states. "It means a lot to a struggling family. It really is just a tree, but in many ways it represents hope," Gramling says.

Sometimes the Santas make special deliveries, like the one Thursday to Karyn in Salisbury. "If it wasn't for Alex we wouldn't have a tree just because I couldn't afford one," she says.

Karyn is raising her son Daniel by herself. The almost 9-year-old has special needs. "He doesn't care about the presents, he doesn't care about anything else, all he cares about is a Christmas tree," Karyn says.

This Saturday is pickup day. The group works with social service agencies to identify people who could use a little help during the holidays, and this weekend hundreds of families will start the season with smiles on their faces.

"It just brings a lot of happiness, and we're creating real great memories for these families and their kids," Gramling says.

The Santas also give people tree stands, lights and ornaments if they need them.


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