By: Missy Walmer, Staff writer
Lebanon’s North Pole gives back to the community.
Two members of the Lebanon community have been setting up a Christmas light display since 2013. But it’s not just something to admire from your car; it’s a way to give back to the community.
Justin and Tracy Smith live on New Street in North Lebanon Township. Justin is a Consumer Electronics Sales Representative and Tracy is a Medical Reimbursement Technician. They also are a part of network marketing companies such as Tupperware and Yoli. Despite their daily responsibilities, since 2012 from October to April they have created a Christmas light display to give back to the community. The display has come to be known as Lebanon’s North Pole.
Inspiration came from early childhood days for Justin.
“When I was a kid I would watch the movie ‘Christmas Vacation’ a lot in the summer or winter; it didn’t really matter,” Justin said. “When I was little, I always wanted to hang Christmas lights.”
The Smith’s had meaningful motives to go above and beyond. They used their Christmas light display, which is one hundred percent LED, to raise money and give back to the community. They do so by selling raffle tickets, face paintings, pictures with Santa and a baked goods stand.
“If we’re going to get people to come over here, we should have a reason,” Justin said.
All of the expenses come out of their own pockets. Over the first three years, they have given up over twenty thousand dollars of their own hard-earned money. All of the money raised is given to the charities they select; none of it is kept for themselves or the making of the display.
“We don’t take a penny for ourselves,” Justin said.
The charities they donated to include Glen Lebanon Fire company, Ebenezer Fire company, Fire police of Northern Lebanon, American Cancer Society, Salvation Army of Lebanon, Joy Pantry of Jonestown, Wounded Warrior Project, Lebanon County Christian Ministries and Brittany’s hope. They have also sponsored two children with the money raised.
Within the first year they managed to raise nearly a thousand dollars. The second year they jumped to $5950. By the third year, with over 100,000 lights, they raised $8550. They also collected coats, blankets and any other winter accessories. Last year they also collected 620 pounds of food.
Unfortunately, this year the North Pole of Lebanon will not be up. The Smith’s wish they could have had more helping hands from the community. They are working towards having volunteers from high schools and colleges in the future. Volunteer duties include helping out on Saturday nights with the baked goods stand and selling raffle tickets. Other duties include going to different businesses to ask for any type of donations and, of course, the actual setting up of the decorations.
“We feed breakfast, we feed lunch, we feed dinner,” Justin said.
They can’t afford to pay someone to set up, but they’re very generous and do what they can.
“Since we can’t pay you, we can at least feed you,” Tracy said.
“We couldn’t do it without the people that come,” Justin said.
Justin and Tracy are very optimistic about furthering their display to make it more exciting. They hope to have new and returning volunteers and plan to have Lebanon’s North Pole up and running again next year.
Justin and Tracy can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org