As this year’s holiday season comes to a close, New Yorkers will be able to start off the new year by doing two good deeds in one fell swoop. Christmas Tree Brooklyn, which sells its trees online and in-person throughout New York City, offers its customers a chance to simultaneously donate items to the Covenant House, an organization benefiting runaway youth. Before the holidays, the used goods are collected when Christmas trees are delivered to people’s homes, but there’s still an opportunity to give back now. When the company is hired to remove used trees, it will once again accept donated goods, including clothing, toys, canned foods, and gifts, and deliver them to the Covenant House. And those Christmas trees that brought so much festivity into our homes? They will be recycled and used to revitalize green spaces around the city.
Christmas Tree Brooklyn makes it hard not to give back to our community, be it by protecting our public parks or by helping a person in need. Co-founder Dan Sevigny and his sister Morgan grew up in Arcadia National Park in Maine with a strong sense of environmental responsibility, so when the pair decided to build a Christmas tree home delivery service in 2011, they made this a core value of their company with removal services and recycling programs.
Every tree removed by Christmas Tree Brooklyn will be recycled at one of New York City’s MulchFest events on January 7 and 8, 2017, and turned into wood chips to nourish plants and trees on city streets and green spaces around the city. You can even grab a free bag of mulch to use in your own backyard.
Christmas Tree Brooklyn has also decided to chip into the collective good in other ways. This season the company has focused their charitable efforts on the Covenant House, which provides aid and resources such as safe shelter, education, and job opportunities to teens that have left their homes to escape violence and abuse. Christmas Tree Brooklyn donated two trees to the organization as well as $20,000 in donated clothing and gifts from its customers.
“A friend of ours, Alex Varga, worked there for a long time and told us about all of the great stuff they’re doing,” Sevigny said. “They help these kids get out of abusive households, and get into jobs and school. If you can impact someone’s life at a young age, they will go out and do good in the world and the positive effects will carry on and multiply for a long time.”
Sevigny feels strongly about being environmentally aware, as well as about the huge benefits that can come from helping someone in a difficult position. He himself was a recipient of much-needed guidance during a darker time in his life.
“I had a really hard time as a teenager,” he said. “I was addicted to drugs and got in a lot of trouble. Countless people loved and supported me through that and I am proud to say I made it to the other side. My goal in life right now is to help as many young people as I can, and working with Covenant House has been a fun way to do that.”
“If you help someone when they are most in need, they will remember you forever, and will go on to help others,” he added. “Positivity and love are contagious.”
To learn more about Christmas Tree Brooklyn and their work with the Covenant House, visit christmastreebrooklyn.com.
Images via Christmas Tree Brooklyn