Northwest Cosmetics, YMCA christmas trees

Christina Anderson, 36, of Idaho Falls, and her daughters Gabriella, 8 (right), and Naomi, 6 (left), pose in front of a Christmas tree they received from the Idaho Falls Family YMCA on Friday at Melaleuca Global Headquarters. The tree was decorated by employees at Northwest Cosmetics Laboratories, which partnered with the YMCA to donate eight trees to YMCA families.

Northwest Cosmetics Laboratories and the Idaho Falls Family YMCA helped spread some Christmas cheer Friday by donating eight decorated Christmas trees to local families in need.

Northwest Cosmetics employees decorated the trees and the YMCA distributed them to select families in need who participate in its programs.

The trees were displayed at Northwest Cosmetics’ annual Christmas party Friday at Melaleuca’s Global Headquarters, where one family was honored and allowed to have first pick of its favorite tree.

The YMCA invited Christina Anderson, 36, of Idaho Falls, and her two daughters, Gabriella, 8, and Naomi, 6, to receive one of the trees.

Anderson, a stage-three breast cancer survivor and single mom, received support from the YMCA over the last year as she underwent treatments, she said.

“They’ve helped me tremendously with the kids this last year because I was diagnosed with cancer,” Christina Anderson said. “They nominated our family to choose the Christmas tree of our choice. It was just a privilege to get a call from the YMCA and for them to appreciate us in that way.”

Donovan Stokes, the YMCA Learning Center’s director, spoke at the Christmas party on behalf of the YMCA and presented the tree to the family.

“What a wonderful family we have with us today,” Stokes said to a crowd of Northwest Cosmetics employees and families. “We are here to honor this wonderful family who represents strength, tenacity, the will to live. And what an example for all of us.”

Gabriella and Naomi Anderson began participating in the YMCA’s Learning Center program after their mother was diagnosed with cancer.

The girls are still enrolled in the program and the YMCA approached the Andersons to be guests of honor at the Christmas party.

“That was really an honor to be picked for that,” Christina Anderson said. “It made the girls’ day, that’s for sure.”

The Andersons are one of eight families that will receive a decorated tree. The trees were decorated by different departments within Northwest Cosmetics. One tree was adorned with 3D-printed ornaments, an obvious product of the lab’s engineering department.

Michael Hughes, Northwest Cosmetics’ CEO, said the tree donation was another way, through the company’s ongoing partnership with the YMCA, to help the community.

“With the partnership we have with the YMCA, they came up with this idea and we’ve been able to help out,” he said. “The trees are given to families, via the YMCA, that probably couldn’t afford a Christmas tree on their own.”

Reporter Ryan Suppe can be reached at 208-542-6762. Follow him on Twitter: @salsuppe.

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