The Giving Tree started with a simple wish. “I wanted my children to know that not every child lives in the same reality and not every adult has a support system at their fingertips,” says Bridget Leary, Founder of The Giving Tree. A family product drive was organized to benefit a local children’s organization. Bridget’s garage overflowed with the generosity of our neighborhood. According to Leary, “I could not let this spirit of giving in my children disappear. I wanted to cultivate that initiative and decided to teach not only my children but many children the merits of helping worthwhile causes.”
In 2009 when the idea of teaching children about helping others came to life, it created the thought of how can we make this more than writing a check or sending in a few canned goods? How can we create awareness in the minds of our children? From the preschool age, kids are able to color a picture or fill a box. As they grow, kids can decorate and fill gift and supply bags. When the teenage years arrive, kids are capable of creating and managing food or clothing drives.
The hands-on lessons to support the hard work and efforts grow with the children and build the community leaders of tomorrow. How do you teach compassion and understanding? It is the hope that all of the children of The Giving Tree will never walk by a homeless person without noticing them, a senior without smiling at them, a child in need without reaching out to make their world a better place.