The Need for a Non-Profit Organization
In 2005 after observing the East Point Fire and Police Departments distribute Christmas toys, clothing and gifts to needy families who had to stand outside in lines for hours to receive gifts, E. D. Pittman (a longtime resident of the City of East Point, Georgia) decided that the distribution of gifts could be done in a more festive and more humane manner. She originated the idea of decorating Christmas trees and having the distribution occur indoors. She called the event, “The Fantasy of Trees”. Due to the invaluable generosity and support of some businesses, private organizations and individuals, The Fantasy of Trees event became a successful reality.
In 2006, The Wagon Works donated space for the first Fantasy of Trees event. More than thirty spectacular decorated trees and tabletop displays were showcased free of charge for public viewing for eight days. On the ninth day, the East Point Fire and Police Departments and the families who were recipients of toys, clothing and other gifts were given exclusive use of the decorated facility. A local business owner donated refreshments. Several owners of displayed trees donated their trees for auction, which rendered $1100.00 that was donated to needy senior citizens in East Point. More than 600 visitors attended the nine-day event.
In 2007, the second Fantasy of Trees event occurred at the East Point First Baptist Church. Pittman solicited businesses and individual supporters who were called, “Friends of East Point”, to sponsor the event because the East Point Fire and Police Departments were no longer sponsoring the distribution of Christmas toys. The second Fantasy of Trees event was more successful financially than the first event and provided toys, games and other gifts to 33 children, who were generally being reared by a grandparent.
In the summer of 2007, Pittman called upon her trusted friends, Delories Epps Horton, Ernestine Dearing Hogan and Sarah Merritt Finley, to assist in sponsoring future Fantasy of Trees events and other benevolent endeavors to assist “at risk” youth residing primarily in South Fulton County as well as financially needy young children and seniors residing in the City of East Point, Georgia.