SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Everyone at the Ho-Chunk Centre is really getting into the Christmas spirit. It’s hard not to be!
Everyone is keeping an eye on the tree the want to bring home before Thursday’s live auction began.
I visited with one the organizers of the event earlier on Thursday and got to see all that goes into creating what people are able to see, the decorated Christmas trees.
“This is something that really touches so many people in the community,” said Tom Molstad, co-chair of Festival of Trees.
For the 27th time in Sioux City, trees decorated by Siouxlanders will be auctioned off and all of that money will go to a good cause.
“For over 27 years, we have raised $388,000,” said Molstad.
But planning for the event begins way before Christmas time, the committee finds their charity in March and then planning begins as early as April.
“The weekend before Thanksgiving we start with set up, then from there, we you know get all the extra stuff moved around and all that,” said Molstad.
This year’s charity is Lila Mae’s House, a young organization that aims to help sex trafficking victims in Siouxland.
“Survivors of sex trafficking is a hidden problem and they are often overlooked when it comes to services and they are a high need very special population of people. They have been through a world of trauma, a lot of pain, and a lot of hurts. It will take a lot of resources to help them heal and live independent, successful lives,” said Marit Westrich, executive director for Lila Mae’s House.
Lila Mae’s House will be able to house seven women and help get them on their feet while they are recovering from trauma.
“This money is really gonna help us provide for the house. We’re gonna use it for basic needs, food and other items the women will need just for basic living. We’re also going to use it to help us hire some staff, so that we have 24-hour safe coverage, while the women are living in the house,” said Westrich.
“They’re just absolutely thrilled because they know that something like this, will really let the community know whats going on,” said Molstad.
Also for the first time this year, the Festival of Trees has a Giving Tree, where you can take one of these cards off and bring back donations for the Lila Mae’s House.
It’s a great way to give back, if some of these beautiful trees are a bit out of your price range.