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Volunteers working in the Pat Calvert Sun House, prepping bundles of fresh greens for the sale.

This year’s Gifts & Greens Galore holiday sale on December 4 and 5 was a tremendous success. It grossed nearly $23,000 in support of plant care, education, and volunteer programs at the Arboretum—a new record! Our previous best weekend sale was the 2019 event, which generated $18,500 in revenue for the Arboretum.

“We had fewer greens this year due Covid-19-related constraints, so we did not expect to do so well!” says our Volunteer Programs Manager, Alyssa Henry. “We were very surprised but thrilled at the outcome. Shoppers continued to come in each day, and we decided to keep the sale open until 4 p.m.—instead of the scheduled 3pm—because we had crowds eager to shop and multiple volunteers who were willing to stay and assist. After a year’s hiatus, it was amazing to see the Arboretum so alive again, and we are thankful that our supporters continue to put us in their holiday plans.”

As always, volunteer support was critical to the success of the event! Volunteers from the Pat Calvert Greenhouse program and some long-time holiday sale volunteers got very creative for the wreath-making and greens-bundling this year, because we had to change our usual location for storing and prepping the plant material. They also worked incredibly hard! Fewer volunteers were able to assist this year as normally would, but many of those who did worked extra shifts to help make sure we had sufficent inventory. The wreaths did sell out on Saturday, as predicted (we sold 57 altogether!), but we had plenty of bundles left for sale on Sunday.

“We were so lucky to have such dedicated longtime friends jump right back into it and help with set up for the sale, along with a couple of newer faces who also picked up multiple shifts when asked for help,” says Alyssa. “We couldn’t have done this—and broken our record—without all of those folks who were working with greens in the cold, hauling around tables and boxes, setting up our merchandise displays, and helping us clean it all up. Thank you all for your support! And to everyone who shopped with a purpose at Gifts & Greens to support this special place!”

A wall of holiday wreaths, handcrafted for the holiday sale by our amazing volunteers.