WESTFIELD-For some local families, the luxury of having a real Christmas tree grace their home is not economically feasible.
For the second year, Brian and Stacey Kelly, owners of Kelly’s Home & Garden at 81 Springfield Road, are providing an opportunity titled “Tree-It-Forward” for area residents to pre-purchase a Canadian balsam tree for a family in need.
“Last year a customer wanted to donate a tree to a needy family but didn’t know how,” said Brian Kelly. “I knew about the ‘suspended coffee’ tradition from Naples, Italy, and decided we could incorporate the idea with Christmas trees.”
Kelly noted that the suspended coffee tradition is an anonymous act of generosity.
“By the next day I had Tree-It-Forward in motion and within hours of the word spreading on social media, people were buying trees for others,” said Kelly, adding, “Tree-It-Forward took off like a rocket.”
From that one act of kindness last year, approximately 50 trees were pre-purchased for families to treasure.
“There is always a need,” said Kelly. “We could give away 10 times as many trees.”
Kelly said there was a Christmas tree shortage this year, however, since he had placed his order during the summer, there are more than 500 trees (balsam and Frasier fir) to choose from on his lot.
“For anyone who pre-purchases a balsam tree for $35 for a family in need, we will also give that person a $5 gift certificate that can be used in 2019,” said Kelly, adding, “It is our way to say thank you and to encourage people to help.”
The Christmas trees arrived Tuesday and presently, close to 10 trees have been pre-purchased for families. A large display board is prominently displayed in the store – indicating if there are pre-purchased trees available.
With the holiday season in full swing, Kelly said four families have already picked up trees and he expects to see more families stopping in soon.
“I’ve seen people tear up as they bought a tree,” said Kelly. “It’s pretty cool to be a part of the giving season. You see the better part of people.”