In recent days, Christmas trees have arrived on big trucks at various lots throughout the Sun Gazette’s coverage areas to be sold in time for the big Dec. 25 holiday. But before they can be sold, those many trees first have to be carefully and efficiently unloaded.
Those jobs, in many cases, have fallen on the young hands of high-school sports teams that volunteer their time and muscle for the big unload. They do so for churches, Lions, and Optimist clubs, as well as some other organizations, which reach out for help to high-school teams.
It’s a big job, often occurring during early morning hours, as up to a couple of hundred trees can be delivered, depending on the organization.
Some of the teams helping with the recent tasks have been the Marshall High School wrestling and track and field teams, the Wakefield High boys basketball squad, the Washington-Liberty and Yorktown crew club team and the Madison High baseball players, plus others who have helped out this year and in the past.
The players usually enjoy the task, and of no surprise, sometimes they make a game out of the work, also serving as valuable team-bonding.
For 26 years, the Madison High baseball team has unloaded Christmas trees for the Vienna Lions and Optimist clubs. One year the team completed the job in 29 minutes, a record that continues to stand, despite focused efforts each year to break that mark and earn bragging rights.
Coaches help, too. Some are actually inside the truck doing the organization jobs, like Wakefield High School boys assistant basketball coach Horace Willis. He was offloading the trees to the players.
And the work is not easy. Some of those trees are heavy and they can be prickly. Gloves should be worn by all handling the trees. Those who don’t, wish they had.
The work is much appreciated.