OCSO Provides Hospice Patients with Decorated Christmas Trees


Each year, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office teams up with Emerald Coast Hospice to provide each patient with a small, hand-decorated Christmas tree. It started 14 years ago with just 25 Christmas trees. It started with just 25 trees, but this year it grew to approximately 360 trees, enough to fill an entire room.

Each year deputies volunteer to take home a tiny tree to decorate as they choose. The trees, provided by an anonymous donor, are then gifted to Emerald Coast Hospice patients who face life-limiting illnesses in homes or facilities from Panama City to Crestview.
School resource officers decorate a bulk of the trees also, with students in local kindergarten and elementary school classes applying their decorating skills as well. The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office headquarters is then transformed into a site to behold with all the trees, complete with festive ornaments and creative decorations, filling a big room. Creativity has no boundaries and the trees are judged. Additionally, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Angel Tree program nearly tripled in size this year, with approximately 270 children set to receive gifts.