Sometimes the best ideas come from the mouths of babes.
Becky Washburn is the director of Apple Developmental Day Care in Bountiful, Utah. As the novel coronavirus pandemic left many of her neighbors financially strapped, one of her students made a sweet suggestion.
“One of my 5- or 6-year-old boys came up to me and said, ‘It’s too bad we can’t do an angel tree like we see in the stores.’ And I thought, well, we can. We can do our version of an angel tree,” Becky explained.
So she picked out an evergreen tree that was standing in front of the day care and put up a sign. Soon enough, the kids started bringing in items they had outgrown or no longer needed!
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Their donations range from food to baby clothes, boots, and other essentials. In December, there were also plenty of toys on the “Blessing Tree” to brighten other kids’ Christmas mornings.
The children love helping staff members bag and label each item before they hang them on a clothesline on the tree. They are thrilled to do something to help others, especially when they spot a stranger taking an item and walking away a little happier than when they arrived!
“They’re so excited,” Becky said with a laugh. “‘Look, Miss Becky, it’s happening!'”
“Hopefully some people can find what they’re looking for,” Becky said, adding that the tree has been a meaningful project for everyone at the day care, not just the kids.
“This meant something to us because it was helping somebody,” she said. “It was real.”
There’s one difference between this Blessing Tree and other angel trees you might have seen around the holidays: It hasn’t gone away! Becky said they’ll keep the tree up for as long as there is a need in their community. It’s their way of reaching out to their friends and neighbors to help them through a difficult time.
“My son said to me this morning, ‘You didn’t know how many people you would affect by that silly little tree,'” Becky said. “There are so many little people and then other people that we don’t even know that are benefitting. Something that just came by, ‘oh we should do this,’ turned out so amazing.”
We’re glad Becky listened to the child who suggested such a kind, generous idea. After all, we are in this together!
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