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Man using 'Charlie Brown' Christmas trees to lift Richmond school, spirits

One Good Thing-Charlie Brown Christmas Trees
One Good Thing-Charlie Brown Christmas Trees
One Good Thing-Charlie Brown Christmas Trees
One Good Thing-Charlie Brown Christmas Trees
One Good Thing-Charlie Brown Christmas Trees
One Good Thing-Charlie Brown Christmas Trees
One Good Thing-Charlie Brown Christmas Trees
Posted at 10:49 AM, Dec 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-22 10:49:20-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- A Virginia man has found a way to use Charlie Brown-style Christmas trees to benefit a middle school that provides scholarships for students from an impoverished area.

Frank Pichel sold scrawny wild pine trees from land he owns to raise money for the Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School in Richmond's East End.

One Good Thing-Charlie Brown Christmas Trees
Parker Vivier and Marsden Olsen, both of Richmond, prepare to tie their tree to their car after purchasing from Frank Pichel's tree lot, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, in Richmond. (AP Photo/Will Newton)

The school was started in 2009 by parishioners and priests who wanted to help children from low-income families change their lives.

Pichel has sold 180 trees and raised more than $5,000 for the school.

One Good Thing-Charlie Brown Christmas Trees
Frank Pichel poses for a portrait outside of his tree lot, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, in Richmond, Va. The Virginia man has found a way to use Charlie Brown-style Christmas trees to benefit a middle school that provides scholarships for students from an impoverished area. (AP Photo/Will Newton)

Pichel's customers say the imperfect trees seem appropriate in a year that saw the world struggle with the devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.