'Treebanks' Crop Up, Allowing Poor People Access to Christmas Trees

Carrie Dedrick | Friday, December 5, 2014

'Treebanks' Crop Up, Allowing Poor People Access to Christmas Trees

A woman in England has started a trend of donating old Christmas trees to people who cannot afford them. 

Hayley Dolbear was inspired to start collecting used trees after a personal experience with poverty at Christmastime. 

"Some years ago I had to make a decision about whether to get gifts for my two children, or a tree,” Dolbear said. 

Then a neighbor gave her a tree that was unneeded. "I just burst into tears," she said. 

So-called “treebanks” are now cropping up across England. Dolbear says many people upgrade their trees and donating them is “better than sending them to landfill.” 

Some treebanks have also received donations from charity shops that have overstock after Christmas. 

St. John’s church is housing a treebank organized by Dolbear. 

Rev Clifford Stocking said, “I wasn't expecting 150 of them, but I think it's a brilliant idea.”

Dolbear said, "The response has been crazy. It has been a bit emotional. I can't believe people's generosity. I have piles and piles of decorations, lights, ornaments, boxes of brand new wooden decorations. You name it I've got it. What started as a little idea last year has grown into this massive thing."

Publication date: December 5, 2014