Volunteer Spotlight: Travis Freeman, Tree of Lights

Nov 13, 2019

Travis Freeman had a bright idea. As a teenager who enjoyed helping his parents decorate their home for the holidays, the young entrepreneur decided to expand his lawnmowing business to incorporate decorating local homes for the Christmas season. Thirty years later, Brite Ideas – the business he founded in 1990 – lights up dozens of locales around Omaha for the holidays and has expanded to hundreds of franchises across the United States.  

Given his longtime love of Christmas lights, Freeman’s collaboration with The Salvation Army’s Tree of Lights Campaign was a natural fit. Back when the Tree of Lights was a live Christmas tree, Freeman was responsible for selecting the perfect evergreen and decorating it. Later he designed and oversaw the construction of a 50-foot steel tree illuminated with hundreds of LED starburst lights at the Tree of Lights’ permanent location at 90th and West Dodge Road.  

Freeman is grateful for The Salvation Army’s social services and is glad to be able to support the organization. “We’ve had employees who have been helped by some of The Salvation Army’s programs,” he said. “We’ve seen first-hand how The Salvation Army has changed their lives.”

Brite Ideas has also hosted fan drives during the summer and coat drives to support Winter Night Watch, which delivers hot meals and winter outerwear to people in need on Omaha’s streets.

“Being involved with The Salvation Army has inspired me to do more,” Freeman said. “We all have to ask, ‘What can we do as a community to give back?’”

Travis Freeman’s answer is simple: “Just do something. Get involved. Pick up the phone and ask, ‘What can I do?’”  

Interested in volunteering for The Salvation Army? Visit Register to Ring to sign up to ring bells, or check out our volunteer page for other seasonal opportunities.

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