The Giving Tree

Lincoln nurse, Brooke Davis, came up with a creative way to spread some cheer during this holiday season amidst the coronavirus pandemic. 

“It’s easy to get caught up in the negative, so that’s what we’re really hoping for, just to bring a smile- even if we can’t see it under the mask, just to bring a smile to somebody’s day,” Davis said.

For this OBGYN nurse, searching for hope for this stressful year has been quite difficult. Christmas is the season of hope and giving. In the spirit, Davis and her daughter, Niya, came up with the idea for a local “Giving Tree” that they would set up in their yard in hopes of bringing some cheer to others. 

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, a classic children’s book on self-sacrifice and giving, inspired Davis to create her Giving Tree. How to be Hopeful by Bernadette Russel was another book of inspiration.

The Davis’ Giving Tree features a large, beautiful tree enamored in twinkling string lights complete with chairs to give people a chance to sit and reflect on the year. The instructions written on a poster in front of the tree read, “Take a piece of encouragement. Leave a piece of encouragement! Every act of kindness creates a ripple with no logical end.” 

The Davis family encourages those who pass by to take firewood, hot cocoa or to leave a note for others who pass by as well.

Their hope is that people who have a bad day will get some encouragement and hot cocoa to uplift them, and those who are in a good spot can leave little notes of encouragement for others. 

“… even if it’s just a little note, they can pay it forward and it will cause a ripple effect,” Davis said.

The two say they want to remind others to spread joy and know that little acts of kindness go a long way.

“People don’t have a ton of hope right now, and it [has] been a tough year for everybody….so use do something small where people can just kind of breathe,” Niya, Davis’ daughter, said.

Would you visit the Giving Tree and leave a note for someone? Or would you go there for some uplifting encouragement yourself? Happy Holidays!