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Christmas lights for veterans

How one family is spreading holiday cheer and giving back to the community.
Posted at 7:02 PM, Dec 21, 2023

EAGLE, ID — One home in Avimor is decorating their home with an extravagant display while also raising money for veterans and their families.

  • This is the first year that the Collins family decorated their home for the holidays.
  • The family with the help of the community put up a display with over 70,000 lights.
  • Along with a fun light show, the family is also raising money for veterans through their website here.
  • You can find the home at 19952 North Glenisla Place

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

Christmas lights for veterans. Good morning I'm your Eagle neighborhood reporter Alexander Huddleston and I traveled back to Avimor to speak with one family who is spreading holiday cheer and helping those in need

Driving through Avimor, you will see Christmas lights illuminating the night sky. However, one home in particular has a special aura about it.

"There's just a lot of variety. It's very bright," said one neighbor.

"I like the trees and they are colorful," said another

Michael Collins said, "I spent a lot of time in the military, and never had a chance to really do this. I love Christmas and this time of year. it’s just a lot of moving around. You can't pack this stuff with you."

This is the first year that Michael and Elisa Collins have started decorating their home. But they wanted to do it in a way where they could bring the community together.

Elisa explained, "We are going to be having an annual community barn-raising event to kind of pull this together every year because it really is more than a one-person job, and it's taken hundreds of hours. and it really helps when the community comes out and says hey we are doing this for a cause."

That cause is giving back to the military veteran community. With Michael's background, they said they couldn't think of a better cause to give back to.

"There's people who have fought for our freedom that are suffering and they have families."

The couple set up a way for those who come to look at the lights to help support the vets.

"So we are at veterans light show dot com. and people can just go and donate online even if they are unable to come out. but, if you do come out there are QR codes all over," said Elisa.

They even figured out a way to get the kids involved in donating.

Smiling, Elisa said, "The magic mailbox is one of the most special parts of this display. Fill out your name and your age, you have to tell Santa if you have been good this year or not so good. And then you tell Santa what you want for Christmas. Then you seal it up and put it in the red mailbox, and Santa will come on and give you a special message."

One kid, said, "It activates a video, and you get to see if you are naughty or nice."

Between the donations, the hot chocolate, the really cool photo opp, and over 70,000 lights as of right now, the Collins family makes sure your experience is one to remember.

Michael said, "We have kids come out, and they sit on our bench, with their parents or grandparents and they see the lights, just that joy and their eyes and faces, it's wonderful."

One neighbor explained, "Just a great way to just bring awareness for the veterans, and raise money for that cause."

If you don't have the pleasure to stop by the display and donate, the couple says that you can donate at their website linked in this story on Idaho News six dot com. Reporting in Avimor, I'm your Eagle neighborhood reporter Alexander Huddleston, Idaho News 6