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Brittany Maxwell of the Murfreesboro (Tenn.) PD planned to spread joy through her Christmas Tree Project. Brittany was collecting artificial trees for children and families who otherwise wouldn’t have one. Her goal was to collect at least 30 trees this year. Unfortunately, Brittany, 25, unexpectedly passed away in her home on Oct. 23, 2010, and didn’t get to see the project through.
“Brittany started this project on the first of October and passed away on the 23rd. We said—her family and friends—we’re not going to let this go. We’re going to keep her memory,” says Jennifer Smith, the Brittany Project’s co-director, who worked as a dispatcher with Brittany. Kimberly Maxwell, Brittany’s mother, and Smith have renamed the cause The Brittany Project.
Although the project began with bringing Christmas trees to families who couldn’t afford them, it’s spread beyond that this year.
“We still bring trees and meals at the holidays, but we realized there’s a more basic, year-round need in our community,” says Smith. “These people really need toothbrushes and underwear and clothing and food.”
The Brittany Project has teamed up with local charity Last Call for Grace to address the basic needs of the community’s most vulnerable members, with an emphasis on children.
“People don’t realize the other side of life,” says Smith. “We take so much for granted. We turn on the water and know it’s coming on. The lights come on. We come home from work and complain about our days. But, you know, life is so much bigger than that. An illness or loss of income can change everything. I’d like for someone to help me if I needed the help. And the kids, they’re along for the ride. It’s a huge, unmet need.”
The Brittany Project is requesting donations of school supplies, children’s clothing, artificial trees, decorating items and money. Monetary donations can be mailed to The Brittany Project, c/o Jennifer Smith, 128 Centerrock Dr., Christiana, TN, 37037.
The Brittany Project