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For over a decade now, the “Little Trees” project has been making lives brighter for hospice patients and their families in Buncombe County.

An outreach of CarePartners Foundation, the Little Trees initiative distributes miniature Christmas trees to school classrooms across the city and county.

School children decorate the trees with handmade decorations, ornaments, and heartfelt notes. Two weeks before Christmas, nearly 500 lovingly decorated miniature trees are then given to patients served by hospice and other CarePartners programs.

“Our teachers here at Black Mountain Elementary are so excited to participate in the little trees project again this year,” said teacher Ann Bell. “Our principal’s mother was recently served by hospice, and we wanted to honor their family by having 100% participation. It’s important for our students to think about service to others over the holidays.”

Kim DeRosa is the volunteer chairperson for the Little Trees project this year. She also serves as the operations director for CarePartners Inpatient Hospice, and knows firsthand how touching the gift of these little trees can be.

“Our patients are so moved by the kindness and thoughtfulness that the children put into decorating these trees. They really do bring so much happiness to our families, many of whom are going through a difficult time. I truly want all of the teachers who are a part of this project to know how much our patients appreciate it,” says DeRosa.

Through Oct. 23, elementary and middle school teachers can sign up to participate in the project. Instructions and undecorated trees will be delivered to schools on November 2. This year, the public will have a chance to see these works of kindness before they are delivered to patients. Teachers are asked to deliver their finished trees to Asheville Outlets on Nov. 19, where they will be displayed through Dec. 14. For more information or to participate, email cashworth@carepartners

foundation.org.

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