Southeastern Hospice Festival of Trees as a time of joy and reflection

LUMBERTON, NC (WBTW) – For 30 years Southeastern Hospice in Lumberton has relied on strength from the support of the community.

On Sunday people in Lumberton got a chance to help keep a tradition alive to help benefit patients and a camp for children who have experienced a loss.

Ornaments, winter apparel and any item made by hand is what Edna Sellers looks for each year when she comes to the festival of trees.

“That’s basically what I look for, hand-made,” Sellers said.

Sellers is a retired nurse and was once a hospice volunteer, so she made sure she was there when it started, because if not her cart would be empty.

“I try to come the first day before they’re all sold out of all the hand-made things” she added.

So filling the cart on her arm has become a routine for sellers for the last 8 years.

Her support is something the Southeastern Hospice has relied on for the last 30 years.

“I like to support hospice and needy people whether their sick or grieving,” explained Sellers.

And while people were shopping others were in a room full of trees and music, including Betsy Wilson who has been playing the piano at the event for 15 years now.

“It puts you in the Christmas spirit and if you think you’re having a bad day, you come here and look around and realize how fortunate you are,” said Betsy Wilson/

Fortunate enough to provide the music each year.

“My grandparents had hospice care and family members had hospice care, this is the least I could do,” said Wilson.

A total of 27 trees were sponsored by businesses and organizations from around North Carolina. 

“This is our tree of honor. It is in memory of all of our patients that we have served since last December. We protect confidentiality by having their first name and last initial so that tree is a very special tree there, it is truly, as I said earlier to be a part of this community,” Vickie Atkinson with Southeastern Hospice.

The festival of trees will run through Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Downtown Lumberton inside the Osterneck Auditorium

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