As the story unfolded, one Christmas tree turned into three.
Free trees for families that simply asked please.
Comstock Civil War Re-Enactors visiting the Sunset Carson City Apartments on Tuesday to bring a tree to the Bagwells encountered two other families in need.
The re-enactors gave three trees away.
"A big part for me (of Christmas) is just the giving," said Col. Harry L. Ehrman III, president of the group, which re-enacts scenes from the Civil War era. "I'm grateful we're able to do this."
The first Christmas tree to be given away went to 6-year-old Christopher Bagwell.
Ehrman pulled a tree from the bed of his red pickup and cut the twine. The tree burst open.
"Well, Christopher, did you get your wish?" Ehrman asked.
The boy nodded his head.
After Ehrman carried the tree into the Bagwell family apartment, placing it beside a wall with four Christmas stockings, Christopher ran outside to meet his 7-year-old friend Michael Dodd.
Michael had told Ehrman earlier that his family had no tree.
Ehrman pulled a tree out of his pickup, and with the help of Michael and Christopher, carried it into the boy's apartment.
"Oh God, this is so cool," said Michael's sister, 19-year-old Trista Jones. "We weren't going to get one so this is kinda nice."
As Ehrman walked back to his truck, he nodded at a young man who had been watching them.
"Merry Christmas," Ehrman said.
"Merry Christmas to you," the young man replied. And after a second, "How can we get a tree? We have no money to get one."
Ehrman pulled another tree from the back of his truck for 17-year-old James White.
"We don't have any money," he said. "I'm trying to take care of my aunt. I just came here from Vegas. I'm trying to start a new life."
The Comstock Civil War Re-Enactors still have trees available, thanks to donations from the owners of The Mystic Forest tree lot.
Contact reporter Maggie O'Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1219.
NEED a tree?
To receive a free tree or join the re-enactors, call Col. Harry Ehrman III at 720-7216.