Man who lost daughter helps bring Christmas tree farm to children’s hospital patients

Children's of Alabama

The holiday season is a time of joy for many, but for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, it can instead serve as a painful reminder of wonderful times spent with them.

The season has been especially difficult for Mark Miller, a father in Alabama who lost his young daughter, Mary Beth, in 2013. After six open-heart surgeries and 348 medical procedures in her short life, Mary Beth suffered a brain injury during a heart transplant and passed away at the age of 7.

When Mary Beth had to stay in the hospital during the holiday season, her family brought Christmas to her, often sleeping on the floor or in a chair to make sure they celebrated together. When she passed, Miller made it his mission to make sure families spending Christmas in the hospital had one very important decoration: a tree.

With help from his colleagues at Ace Hardware, Miller reached out to other store locations asking for donations of Christmas trees in the hopes of setting up a Christmas tree farm at Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in Birmingham.

His hopes became a reality on Dec. 5, when 30 Ace Hardware store owners donated 340 artificial trees, each standing at 3 feet tall, to Miller’s makeshift Christmas tree farm, ensuring the children who will be spending the holidays at the hospital would still have their very own trees.

Children's of Alabama

Each child was able to choose their own tree, create ornaments and even meet Santa, all without leaving the hospital grounds. Decorations and activities were provided by the Junior League of Birmingham, while an area company called Hoar Construction made the tree farm come to life by building structures, hanging lights and creating artificial snow. After all, they don’t get much real snow in Alabama!

From the photos taken at the event, it looked like everyone had a magical time.

Children's of Alabama

For the children who were unable to leave their rooms, the trees, activities and even Santa himself were brought directly to them so they wouldn’t miss out on the excitement.

Children's of Alabama

“We are grateful to the Junior League of Birmingham, Ace Hardware and Hoar Construction for bringing some holiday cheer to Children’s of Alabama this season,” Emily Bridges, community development coordinator at Children’s of Alabama said in a press release. “The holidays can be a particularly trying time to be in the hospital, so to give our patients and families the opportunity to pick out a tree and participate in that holiday tradition regardless of their circumstances is especially meaningful.”

Children's of Alabama

What a heartwarming way to spread some holiday cheer!

Good News, Holiday & Seasonal, News
, , , , , ,

Related posts

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 10: Mariska Hargitay is seen taking a break from filming 'Law and Order: SVU' help a child at the Fort Tryon Playground on April 10, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
'SVU' star Mariska Hargitay helps lost child who thought she was real cop
Colorful Peeps and edible Peeps play dough
How to turn Peeps into edible play dough
10 Easter egg hunt ideas to take your hunt to the next level
Easter suncatcher
11 Original Ideas For Celebrating Easter With Kids

About the Author
Kaitlin Gates
Kaitlin is a freelance multimedia journalist with a degree in journalism and psychology. Along with Simplemost, she also writes for Don't Waste Your Money, where she loves finding great deals to help people save money. Visit Scripps News to see more of Kaitlin's work.

From our partners