The Christmas tree that sits in front of Nicole MacPherson’s house in North Sydney, Nova Scotia isn’t decorated with lights and garland, but it’s just as festive.
Instead, there are plastic Ziplock bags hanging from the branches that are stuffed with warm clothing and accessories, all free to anyone who needs them. People can show up and take jackets, pajamas, sweaters, hats and mittens, whatever they need – no judgement, no questions asked.
This is the second year that MacPherson, 30, set up the Community Tree in front of her home. She said she got the idea from a social media post in the U.S. where someone filled a coat rack with donated jackets and put it out for the community
“I just thought it was a wonderful idea and anything to help our community is worth doing,” MacPherson told The Casket.
MacPherson gave out 21 coats last year, along with dozens of hats and scarves. She’s already given out 60 coats this year and 300 other warm weather items, and she says the donations coming in from others in the community have been overwhelming.
“We’re supposed to help our neighbors, and I think we don’t do that as often as we used to,” she said. “Anything to be able to give back is important to me.”
The bags are labeled with the size of the item inside. Many of the items are brand new with tags still attached, others are lightly used. MacPherson has restocked the tree several times since setting it up in early November.
While a lot of the items on the tree go to the city’s homeless population, MacPherson says there’s others in the community who are in need.
“I know there’s lot of people who might have a roof over their head, but don’t have that extra cash to get the warm items for themselves, they’re struggling to get it for their kids,” she said.
MacPherson plans to have the Community Tree set up until the end of February, and with the temperatures in Nova Scotia steadily dropping each day, the bags of warm clothing will surely be a big help to those who need them most.
Inspired by MacPherson’s incredible act of kindness? Why not set up a Community Tree on your front lawn? You can also donate to a nearby clothing drive or food bank to help those in need during the winter season. For a list of places to donate, click here. You can also contact your local churches to see if they have ongoing collections in place.
Let’s #StartSomethingGood together.
(Source: images CTV Atlantic)