Every year, The Los Alamitos Youth Center sells Christmas trees from the Ganahl Lumber parking lot in Los Alamitos, CA to fund youth programs. They also give away Christmas trees to Military families and local families in need. This year, in addition to letting us use their parking lot for the 22nd year, Chad Kidder, General Manager at Ganahl Lumber donated $25,000 to the Youth Center for the Christmas trees we will give to 100 local families. Here is what he wrote to Lina Lumme, Executive Director of The Youth Center:

“I don’t want the Youth Center to absorb any costs for donated trees. This has been a very unfair year to all the nonprofit organizations in our community and Ganahl has operated successfully during this pandemic. We can help support the community that has allowed us to operate successfully.

There is a back story to why this is personal and important to me. I grew up very poor and often did not know when or how my next meal would come. I was my daughter’s age (11) on a Thanksgiving day that my mom, my brother, and I had no plans, no food to eat, and was planning on just putzing around the house for the day. I decided to go outside (and where I grew up, temperatures were often below zero around Thanksgiving). I just had to get out and away from the thought of my disposition. When I opened the door, I saw that someone left a Thanksgiving feast on the front porch. To this day, I do not know who left that meal but it changed my life forever.

My daughter is experiencing what many children are experiencing with COVID and the lack of socialization. It truly breaks my heart. So when I think about my daughter and how I can help her, it reminds me of that Thanksgiving day and reminds me of all the children the Center helps. And it reminds me that all children, all people deserve the opportunity to share in the spirit of the holidays and no home should be without a tree…unless of course they don’t share in the spirit for cultural or religious reasons.

My point is, we are here to help. Just let me know the best way we can do that.”

We can’t thank you enough, Chad and Ganahl Lumber, for bringing Christmas joy to so many families this year!