United Way of Westchester and Putnam (United Way) once again partnered with American Christmas to give 14 decorated and pre-lit artificial Christmas trees to Westchester families who have struggled this year and could use some extra Christmas cheer. The families were nominated by local nonprofits and faith-based organizations.
Selected families were invited to American Christmas’s storefront where they decorated their new tree with a selection of ornaments. American Christmas donated the pre-lit trees and ornaments. American Christmas’ Darren Delaney worked with families and offered decorating tips and to assist. Families were also given a tour of American Christmas’ spectacular showroom that is known as Santa’s Village.
Tamika Hall, the caregiver to 10 children, was nominated for her dedication to her children, family and community. She said her family had a great time.
“We loved it,” she said.
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.
American Christmas’ CEO Dan Casterella offered the trees and experiences to give back to the local community that he said helped grow his company.
“It’s been such a joy to give back to Mount Vernon and the surrounding communities two years in a row,” Casterella said. “Bringing some holiday cheer to 14 families is something I feel lucky to be able to do and partnering with United Way has been great.”
Casterella said that after last year’s success, United Way was his top choice for the project.
“United Way does incredible work and has such a broad network,” he said. “This was such a success last year with their help that it was a no-brainer to partner up again and I’m happy to see that it went just as successfully this year.”
Tom Gabriel, CEO of United Way of Westchester and Putnam shared the sentiment.
“We are so excited to partner with American Christmas on this initiative once again,” he said. “With more than 40% of our neighbors living paycheck to paycheck or in poverty, we hope that by providing some extra Christmas spirit this year, we gave some hope to those who may need it.”