26 Christmas trees picked up in late January

Pickup service, which acts as a fundraiser for the neonatal intensive care unit at Regina General Hospital, ended Saturday.

Proceeds from Regina Parents of Multiples Association's tree pickup go to Regina Hospital's NICU

The Regina Parents of Multiples Association has extended their fundraising tree pickup service this year. (Photo by Devon Gillanders)

Saturday was the last chance to take advantage of the Christmas tree pickup service by the Regina Parents of Multiples Association, which offers the service as a fundraiser for the neonatal intensive care unit at Regina General Hospital.

It's a cause that's close to Shauna Kraemer's heart.

It was just over two years ago when one of Kraemer's twin boys went into the NICU.

He stayed there for 18 days while recovering from respiratory issues. During that stay, he received breathing support until he recovered.

Kraemer's sons were born prematurely, which isn't uncommon for twins, she says.

When she learned she was pregnant with twins, Kraemer got involved with the Regina Parents of Multiples Association during a fundraising sale just before the holidays.

"It's a great group of ladies," Kraemer said. "We all have multiples so we all know what it's like to have more than one child at a time. Some people have triplets."

The group offers support, guidance and a chance for mothers to get together once a month and participate in an activity together.

While the life of a mother is always busy, she and the rest of the organization have found the time to arrange the pickup of trees left over from the holidays.

The tree pickup was extended this year. Last year, the last pickup took place Jan. 9. Kraemer said she received many emails after the last date from people looking to recycle their Christmas trees.

One of the reasons was the celebration of Orthodox Christmas by Saskatchewan's large Ukrainian community.

"I don't practice that background so I didn't really think about it," she said. "So I thought, 'That's a great opportunity to get another group of people for tree pickups.'"

Kraemer said 26 trees were picked up on Saturday, so the group has been kept busy even as January draws to an end.

Pickup costs $10, and all proceeds are donated to the neonatal intensive care unit at Regina General Hospital. And Kramer said there were extra donations given to the volunteer-based effort. 

"We're super grateful for everyone who participates in this," she said.

More information can be found on the organization's website