The Church of God Smoky Mountain Children’s Home in Sevierville, Tennessee was a recent recipient of the Buy a Tree Change a Life organization’s fundraising efforts. Buy a Tree Change a Life is a network of churches and organizations who are dedicated to helping children globally and locally by selling Christmas trees to the public during the month of December. The organization, which began four years ago, is the heart of Pastor Travis Johnson of Life Pointe Church in Homestead, Fla.
What started out as a way to help a family with an adoption has turned into a nationwide venture to help children globally. This past year, the network had 21 sites across the United States, raising over $283,000 for charities. The local site, operating through New Hope Church of God, under the leadership of Pastor Tom Sterbens and coordinator Doug Daniels, not only raised $20,000 for SMCH but blessed many families who were unable to purchase Christmas trees during the holiday season. Doug Daniels commented, “It is an honor to do kingdom work with kingdom minded people by being part of the Buy a Tree network.”
The local Buy a tree Change a Life network set up their Christmas tree sales tent on the grounds of SMCH during December, selling trees with 100% of the proceeds going to SMCH.
During a recent Sunday morning service Pastor Sterbens and Daniels presented Dr. Walt Mauldin, director of SMCH, with a symbolic check for $20,000, which will be used for the care of teens and children in the Home’s care.
Mauldin commented, “It is indeed an honor to be the recipient of such a tremendous donation. When half of our multi-million dollar operating budget must be raised from private gifts and donations, a gift like this is always a blessing. And it will ensure that we can continue caring for at-risk children and youth.”
Pastor Sterbens, exclaimed,
“It is awesome to partner with Smoky Mountain Children’s Home staff and residents, many of whom are part of our extended church family. We just want to be a positive influence in their lives for the good of our community.”