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Franklin County deputies cut down trees for 'Operation Christmas Tree'

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. (WFXR News) - Chainsaws aren't typical tools you see deputies with, but when the job calls for it, they know how to use them. Tuesday was about something much greater: the duty to serve their community.

Cutting down the Christmas trees means someone else will have a great Christmas Day.

"We have approximately 35 people out here today that include members of the Franklin County Sheriff's, their families, also residents and their families," said H.L. Nolan with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office. 

The people came out to a Christmas Tree farm in Floyd to help make Operation Christmas Tree come to life.

"We will cut 180 Christmas Trees this afternoon," Nolan said Tuesday morning.

The money from each tree sold goes to a local family in need. But cutting the trees is just half the work, loading them up and getting them back to Franklin County is also part of the job. 

"It is a labor of love for all of those involved," he said. 

One family that came to help is The Gray's. Daniel Gray was on the chainsaw, while his wife and kids helped to move the trees to be picked up.

"It became a really fun event for the family. It's something we look forward to every year. It's the way we feel we are, we can do our part to give back to the community as this does go to help those in need," said Daniel Gray.

Gray and his family helped cut and load between 30 to 40 trees, but the total of 180 trees means the Sheriff's Office will truly make a difference for several families back in Franklin County.

"We will be able to give 39 families an opportunity to prepare two hot meals during Christmas. We will be able to offer clothing for all of the children 18 or under, and toy requests for children 18 or under," said Nolan.

A day of hard work for some, but an unforgettable Christmas experience for many more.

This is the third year of Operation Christmas Tree. The fundraiser grew from helping 12 families in the first year to 39 this year.

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