LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — One hundred live Christmas trees were given out for free Sunday night at the 5th annual Christmas Experience at Liberty Baptist Church. The goal of this event is to spread holiday cheer and keep the community safe.
Richard Evans was one of those lucky Las Vegans to walk away with a tree. He says this simple spruce is bringing joy to his world.
“It’s a blessing,” Evans said. “They don’t have to do this, but they take the time out to do it anyway, so we highly appreciate them for that.”
Church leaders say they first held this event five years ago to bring the community together because of the high crime rate in the area, but they’ve already seen some changes.
“We were able to take violent crime down in that neighborhood over 70% in just 12 months,” said Assistant Pastor Richard Moses. “We want this to be a place where they can call home.”
Metro police are also hosts of the event now, to make spirits bright in their own way.
“I think it’s important to see that we’re partners with the community,” said Sgt. Ryan Rafferty. “We’re not just here, going to calls for service, we’re here, involved, giving back.”
The hundreds of people who came say they are very thankful. For those taking home a free tree, they can’t wait for what’s next.
“The game plan now is to let the kids do the rest,” Evans said. “I mean, I got the stand, and I’m going to set the tree up and let the kids go crazy with it.”
Organizers hope to have even more people come out next year.