United Way Tree of Lights is coming back this holiday season!

The United Way of Northern BC (UWNBC) is very excited to announce that the United Way Tree of Lights is coming back this holiday season in Prince George. In a collective effort to bring the light of hope and joy in the face of the global crisis, this 60-foot tree will once again be hoisted atop the Coast Prince George Hotel by APA in downtown Prince George. The tree will arrive on Thursday, November 12, 2020, at approximately 11am (PST).

 

This community tradition will again inspire people to understand that no matter how dark or difficult our life gets it does not remain the same forever. UWNBC aims to shine a light on that which is darkest and connect the need where it is greatest. Perhaps this year, more than ever, we need to find ways to find togetherness while being physically apart. The United Way Tree of Lights is an exciting opportunity to bring that warmth of community and allow the holidays to come out of the shadows of the ongoing pandemic.

 

The team at UWNBC recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has created significant challenges for people all around the world. Our family, friends, and neighbours are affected by the pandemic amplifying already difficult circumstances in a broad range of #unignorable issues like isolation, food insecurity, unemployment, mental wellness, drug addiction, and domestic violence.  In response to these ever-increasing needs, UWNBC has set a fundraising goal of $30,000 with proceeds going towards raising awareness and support of programs and services to fight the #unignorable issue of ‘drug abuse and overdose’ in Prince George and the other issues that surround it, like mental wellness and basic needs. The holiday season can make these issues even more prevalent, amplifying already fragile situations and putting further pressure on already waning resources.

 

“With this additional crisis of overdose in BC running parallel to the pandemic, we feel it an important yet often polarizing issue to stand up for across Northern BC.” says Trista Spencer, Executive Director, UWNBC. “The things we have learned from our outreach during this last year is that mental health and addictions knows no social boundaries and is affecting our youth to our elders in ways we didn’t imagine it could. With these learnings we are keen to bring the needed resources to ensure anyone who is vulnerable receives the information and support they need to not just survive but thrive.

 

This opportunity to bring back the United Way Tree of Lights is two fold for us in that we get to bring attention to some critical issues, but we also have a wonderful way to connect the community in a time we feel so isolated from each other.  We want to bring the magic of the holidays and we couldn’t be more excited!”

 

We invite you to come and see this amazing tree being hoisted atop the hotel, however, we request everyone to ensure they practice physical distancing (stay at least 2 meters apart) and wear a mask. Alternatively, this sight can be enjoyed from the comfort of your parked vehicle. Please adhere to all posted signage.

 

This year, UWNBC has a special announcement – a partner tree in Fort St. John!

The North Peace Cultural Centre is raising a grand tree in their concourse to coincide with the opening of this year’s Artisan Christmas Market. This tree will be the light of hope for many, bringing awareness to the issues of mental health and addictions in the Fort St. John area and raising urgently needed funds to support the community no matter the socio-economic status, allowing anyone who needs it to have access to resources, and to know they’re not alone. The goal for this partner tree fundraiser is $10,000. The event for the opening of the Artisan Christmas Market is November 14, 2020 at 2pm (MST) and will be live streamed with announcements and entertainment (link to be available through the NPCC and UWNBC Facebook pages).

 

“We are so thrilled to partner with the North Peace Cultural Centre in Fort St. John to bring this warmth of the season to more places across Northern BC.” Says Trista Spencer, Executive Director, UWNBC. “The opportunity to connect to our communities is so key for us to continue the work we do each and every day. This holiday season is like no other and it’s exciting to have a way to connect with people in a joyful and meaningful way.”

 

To find out more information, to become a sponsor, or make a donation to this initiative, please contact us at info@unitedwaynbc.ca or 250-561-1040. Follow the event on Facebook and Instagram @unitedwaynbc and check out the page on our website www.unitedwaynbc.ca.

 

United Way would like to gratefully acknowledge the following sponsors for helping bring the tree to the roof in Prince George: Coast Prince George Hotel by APA, Sterling Crane, PG Rental Centre, Warmac Ventures Ltd.

United Way would like to thank the North Peace Cultural Centre for their partnership for the tree in Fort St. John.

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