As the last leaves fall from trees and the first frost arrives, the Franklin County Visitors Bureau is busy getting ready for the annual Festival of Trees, set to open this year at the 11/30 Visitors Center on November 18th at 4 PM.  Back again in 2024 is Sharing the Heart of the Holidays, a special giving and receiving event, centered around collecting a variety of items to support Franklin County residents that need a little help this holiday season.

Homeless Matters, Grocery Outlet, and Franklin County Visitors Bureau teamed up in 2023 to organize the first year, which resulted in a full box truck of donations to help families and individuals in Frankliln County during the holiday season and winter months. Sharing the Heart of the Holiday collects twelve items to correspond to the twelve days of Christmas. These items are blankets and linens, books of all kinds, coats of all sizes for the entire family, outdoor gear like hats, scarves, mittens/gloves, snow boots and galoshes, grocery gift cards, laundry and hygiene items, games and family fun items, art and school supplies, baby clothes and baby items, gas cards, and toys. Collection of items will end on December 4.

“Homeless Matters strives to ease the burdens that face families and assist in providing an opportunity to be successful, even in the face of such personal hardships. Through this wonderful collaboration we can lessen the burden this holiday season and share the heart of the holidays,” said Jacqui Wolfe, the driving force behind Homeless Matters.

Businesses and organizations interested in a hosting a Sharing the Heart of the Holiday donation box or meeting some of the organizations that connect people in need to the collection items provided by  Sharing the Heart of the Holidays are invited to attend First Friday at the Frankliln County 11/30 Visitors Center on November 3, 5 PM to 7:30 PM. Or, contact the Franklin County Visitors Bureau at 717.552.2977 for questions, more information, or to be a drop-off site for Sharing the Heart of the Holidays. To learn more about Festival of Trees, visit