It began as the centerpiece on stage at the 2013 Samaritan House 8th Anniversary Luncheon and grew into the hooiday centerpiece of our front yard.
Since 2013 the Samaritan House Crutch Tree has been displayed each Christmas season in front of our facility. Originally created for our 8th Anniversary Luncheon with the theme of “A Community on Crutches”, it represented each guest that who came through our program needing crutches and left without them. At the time of our 8th Anniversary Luncheon there were 81 guests, since then that number has grown to nearly 200 guests and continues to grow. The crutch tree has become a yearly fixture to our program around the holidays and each year the crutch tree has a different color and theme.
Although each year the Crutch Tree goes up as a part of our holiday display and its lights and location changes, its meaning never does. We will continue to keep it as a reminder that a place like Samaritan House is always there for the community along with our donors and volunteers who make Samaritan House the great place that it is. Great things continue to happen here to help insure that each guest who comes through our house can look forward to the day that they discharge and know that they were a part of our great program as they move on with their lives.
In 2018 we chose to decorate it red to honor the Charlotte Fire Department and MEDIC as well as fire departments and first responders from all over. Charlotte Fire along with MEDIC has responded to our facility many times over the years and each time they show our guests in need true compassion and professionalism each and every time.
In 2017 the Samaritan House Crutch Tree along with other parts of the front of our facility were decorated with blue lights to represent our support for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and all that they do not only for us but for the community as well. 2017 was a tough year for law enforcement agencies nationwide and we felt the best way for us to show these officers and honor them was to have them represented in 2017 as part of our holiday theme.
For our 8th Anniversary Luncheon, the question surrounding the theme was “Have You Ever Seen a Crutch Tree?” Obviously being an original idea no one could say they ever had, thus the legacy of the Samaritan House Crutch Tree was born.
The Crutch Tree has simply become one of those things that passerby’s see and wonder what it is. Volunteers and donors who visit Samaritan House get to understand the purpose of displaying it out front during the holidays.
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