The CAN-tree Collection in Ventura County

Some 300 trees built from cans will be on display over the first weekend of December.

VIBRANT SYMBOLS OF COMMUNITY CARE: The holiday drives and collections are just starting up, and many people will volunteer their time, helm a bake sale, or donate a coat or some goods from the pantry or unwrapped toys. It's a must-do for plenty of Californians, to find a way to give back and help others, at this time of year and every other. FOOD Share of Ventura County has found a highly visual way to symbolize this big-hearted effort, and in a seasonal way, too, and now the four-year-old tradition is one of the best-known gotta-see-its, and gotta-lend-a-hands, in Oxnard. It's the CAN-tree Collection, a veritable forest of trees fully built out of donated canned goods. And we're not exaggerating on the "veritable forest" part; over 300 trees will be built in 2015, and each tree shall contain over 600 cans, each one a potent symbol in the fight to end hunger. Volunteers will spend hours building the foodly firs, which make have a theme of beans or corns or vegetables or another canned good. And this will all go on display, to the public, from Friday, Dec. 4 through Sunday, Dec. 6 at The Collection at RiverPark in Oxnard. But there are two trees worth noting, and they each shall boast...

10,000 CANS: Make that "an impressive 10,000 cans each," say organizers, which means they'll top out at 14 feet apiece. FOOD Share seeks to build a community-sweet coalition behind the trees, and anyone who wants to participate, either by donating cans or helping to stack cans or pitch in in another capacity, should get in touch with the organization ahead of December. If you can't help out this year, with a tree build, but want to visit, know that a full holiday happening will be going on around the trees from Dec. 4 through 6, from a Pajama Party with Mrs. Claus to a cookie decorating station and more. If you want to know more about how FOOD Share serves Ventura County, click. If you want to build a tree, start here.

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