Operation Christmas Tree is returning for a fourth consecutive year.

Initiated by Franklin County Sheriff Bill Overton, the tree sale is one of the largest fundraisers the sheriff’s office holds each year to raise funds for local families in need. All proceeds go toward making the holiday brighter by helping to provide toys for kids and food supplies.

This year, the trees will be 6- to 7-foot Fraser firs from Powers Tree Farm in Lansing, North Carolina.

In years past, the sheriff’s office partnered with Slaughter’s Tree Farm; however, due to business demand, the Floyd tree farm was unable to accommodate the sheriff’s office this year.

H.L. Nolen, community outreach officer for the FCSO, said the owners of Slaughter’s helped connect them to the North Carolina farm.

Last year nearly 200 Christmas trees were sold.

Nolen said the annual No Shave November will also return as an in-house fundraiser for deputies. Male deputies can donate $100 and not shave for the month of November, but they must keep facial hair neat and groomed. Female deputies are also able to participate by making the same $100 donation for which they will be permitted not to have to wear a tie — except for court appearances.

The fundraisers brought in more than $15,000 last year and helped make Christmas special for 36 families. The FCSO partners with Franklin County Public Schools to select families for the program. Nolen said once families are contacted, the sheriff’s office works with them to determine clothing sizes and needs for food and toys for their kids.

This year’s tree pickup will be Saturday, Nov. 30, rain or shine, in the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office parking lot from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tree sales are open to residents of all counties, not just Franklin County.

To pre-order a tree, call Wanda Fralin at 483-6626.

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