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'Christmas of Change' raises thousands

BEND, Ore. - Thousands of dollars were raised over the holiday season in downtown Bend through a community effort called A Christmas of Change.

ACOC is an annual event designed to raise funds to support the work of local charities, to help the celebration in downtown for the month of December, and to foster a greater sense of community within our city.

Created by The Tree of Humanity, and with support from the Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA), the event seeks to bring attention to the idea that small and seemingly insignificant contributions of time and money can add up to make a big difference.

The 2012 effort gave Downtown Bend its most dramatic Christmas display in years. Downtown was decorated with tens of thousands of lights and stars while illuminated coins representing change in the community were displayed in businesses and on the Downtown Bend Christmas Tree.

Over $3,000 in contributions were collected. The funds will be directed to several local social service nonprofits in the community helping Central Oregon families in need. One of the first recipients will be the charity Healthy Beginnings.

The Tree of Humanity is a nonprofit organization passionate about strengthening our community by supporting charities that enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in need. They have organized volunteers to help the DBBA decorate downtown for the Christmas season since 2008.

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