By Bonnie Mentel

The First United Methodist Church of zBrandon is continuing their long-held tradition of selling Christmas trees as a fundraiser for the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home. The orphanage’s webpage describes the ministry as a beautiful 100-acre campus located on Lake Monroe.

“The Florida United Methodist Children’s Home was established as an orphanage in 1908 by Florida Methodists, and by the 1950s had changed its major emphasis to caring for abused, abandoned, neglected or dependent children. Boys and girls are accepted without regard to race, creed or national origin. The staff is composed of competent and dedicated professionals who share responsibility for caring for the children 24 hours a day.”

This information and more can be found at

“Our lot opens the day after Thanksgiving and we’ll be open until we hopefully sell all the trees. We’re selling wreaths this year, since a lot of people have artificial trees. We’re exploring different avenues to raise funds for the Children’s Home. We have a limited amount of fresh wreaths. Those are $20. Our Christmas trees range from $40-$100, depending on how tall they are,” said Becky Johnson, church member and volunteer.

This is the church’s 51st year to participate in Christmas tree sales. Last year, the church ordered 120-150 trees and raised enough money to donate $4,000 to the Children’s Home.

“We are hoping that all our trees sell out and we can give them even more money this year,” Johnson said.

The lot hours are Monday through Friday from 4-7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday 12 Noon-6 p.m. The lot is located just past the church and will be open from 10 a.m.–7 p.m. on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving.

“Last year, the church ordered 120 to 150 trees. They have a limited amount of large trees, but they have a lot of 5’-6’ trees. They’re all Fraser Firs; the soft needle ones. They hold up well. They’re all beautiful trees that have been freshly cut and delivered. The trees are much nicer than the ones you would buy at a grocery store,” Johnson said.

The First United Methodist of Brandon is located at 120 N. Knights Ave. in Brandon. It can be reached at 689-4161. Visit

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