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November 19, 2021

15 Families Receive ‘Joy’ and ‘Hope’ this Holidays from United Way and American Christmas

The holidays for the past couple of years have been difficult for Quinn Jackson of Yonkers. Lupus and other medical issues have compromised her immune system, and the single mother of six has been unable to work.

Jackson and her children were one of 15 families chosen by United Way of Westchester and Putnam to receive artificial Christmas trees, complete with lights and ornaments donated by American Christmas. In addition, the families toured through American Christmas’ spectacular Mount Vernon showroom. They also received complimentary tickets to Lumagica, an outdoor walkable light park produced by American Christmas, at Harvest Moon Orchard in North Salem. Local nonprofit organizations nominated families.

American Christmas creates holiday displays for some of New York City’s most iconic attractions, ranging from the heralding angels at Rockefeller Center to the 13-foot-tall nutcrackers posted outside the UBS building on 6th Avenue in Manhattan. Every holiday season, the company installs more than 525 holiday displays around the world.

“These gifts bring me so much joy and hope,” said Jackson. “Things have been difficult, but it is moments like these that are such a blessing. They remind you that people care and that all is not lost. I am so thankful for the support.”

American Christmas’ CEO Dan Casterella offered the trees and experiences to give back to the local community that helped grow his company.

“Mount Vernon and the surrounding communities have been through a lot in the last two years. I just wanted to be able to give back to a few families to spark some Christmas joy back into this season,” said Casterella.

Impressed with all the work United Way does throughout Westchester, he partnered with the organization to identify and assist the families.

“United Way does incredible work and has a broad network,” said Casterella.

Tom Gabriel, CEO of United Way of Westchester and Putnam, said, “We are so excited to be partnering with American Christmas on this initiative. With 40% of our neighbors living paycheck to paycheck or in poverty, we hope that by providing some extra Christmas spirit this year, we can give a little hope to those who may need it.”

To further support United Way’s efforts, American Christmas will host Illuminations, a walkthrough Christmas light exhibit at their showroom in Mount Vernon on select days between November 27 and December 23. Admission to the event is $5 a person. All the proceeds will benefit the work of United Way of Westchester and Putnam. Advanced registration is required. Tickets are available online at