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Buy the perfect Christmas tree, and support a great cause

For folks looking for some Christmas cheer this year, purchasing a fresh, locally sourced Aunt Leah’s Tree is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit safely.

For folks looking for some Christmas cheer this year, purchasing a fresh, locally sourced Aunt Leah’s Tree is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit safely. The best part—you’ll be supporting vulnerable foster youth and young moms at the same time, who are in greater need due to the impacts brought on by the pandemic.

Aunt Leah’s Tree Lots are open for the season in Vancouver, Burnaby, and Coquitlam, and for those of you who have been before, things will look a little different this year as Tree Lots follow stringent BC Health protocols including social distancing, mandatory masks, and sanitization to keep customers, volunteers, and staff safe. 

Aunt Leah’s Trees is one of Aunt Leah’s Place social enterprises and its most successful fundraiser, with 100% of the profit from tree sales going to its programs. The sales from their Tree Lots are a significant revenue source for the housing programs and other essential services Aunt Leah’s Place provides for vulnerable foster youth, mothers and babies.

 This year, the need is more urgent than ever. It is estimated that 50 per cent of B.C. foster youth will experience homelessness and, during the pandemic, foster youth have experienced even greater levels of housing and food insecurity.

 Aunt Leah’s Place has been a lifeline for these young people, providing housing, food hampers, living essentials and, above all, a supportive and compassionate adult to help them navigate these difficult times.

 “An Aunt Leah’s tree supports kids in care along with moms and babies. We need the most funding for the teens over 19 who age out of care, they need more funding because there isn’t much support for them out there,” says Angelina Oates, director of Training and Social Enterprises for Aunt Leah’s Place.

 The Christmas trees are sourced locally from around B.C. and the Pacific Northwest, and the lots also have a selection of apartment-sized potted trees, wreaths and holiday planters to choose from.

 “We have all kinds of trees, including Douglas Fir as well as the wild Douglas trees from B.C.’s Interior. We also have Fraser Firs and Noble Firs, which both have stronger branches that make for the perfectly sturdy, full tree that many families look for,” Oates says.

 “There’s a tree for every type of person.”

 A major key to the tree sale’s success is the volunteers.

Every year, over 500 volunteers dedicate their time and support, keeping the overhead low on tree lots. This year, the organization is short volunteers, and they could use your help.

Volunteering shifts are typically four hours long, and slots can easily be selected for any location online.

Volunteers can be responsible for anything from walking the lot to assisting visitors, running the cash, and taking care of the trees to ensure they can absorb water properly before customers take then home.

Aunt Leah’s Place is a registered non-profit that supports children in the foster care system to create an environment where they have equal opportunities akin to those of parented youth. It also helps young mothers to ensure their children don’t end up in care.

 “Aunt Leah’s runs on a family model. We have people come in to work on their goals, and we help them both figure out what those goals look like, and establish how they can reach them,” Oates says. 

 “The goal is to maintain housing. We don’t want anyone to be homeless.”

 An essential facet of Aunt Leah’s social enterprise programs is giving their youth the opportunity for part-time work in the tree lots.

 “It’s their first entry-level into a job,” Oates says.

 “It’s hard for people to get jobs in general, but without some of the life skills you would have learned along the way with your parents, it’s even more challenging.

 “No one gives you a chance if you haven’t worked or volunteered before. Aunt Leah’s Tree Lots give them a chance to get that experience and that resume line so they can go on and get another job with that experience,” Oates says.

 To learn more about Aunt Leah’s Tree Lots, visit