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'Blessing tree' stays up outside Bountiful day care

By Alex Cabrero, KSL TV | Posted - Dec. 27, 2020 at 7:25 a.m.



BOUNTIFUL — Christmas is now behind us, but that doesn't mean the need for help goes away. Some Davis County children are still feeling the Christmas Spirit even though Santa is back at the North Pole thanks to a "blessing tree."

When you're supposed to keep your eyes on the road, it's easy to miss the little things, especially along busy Center Street in Bountiful. However, a little tree just off 455 West most people go right past has been a big blessing for some.

"Hopefully some people can find what they're looking for," said Becky Washburn.

The tree has always been there, but Washburn said she's never hung anything on it before. Then again, she's never seen a need so great.

The pandemic has made it even worse.

"This meant something to us because it was helping somebody," she said. "It was real."

Washburn is the director of the Apple Developmental Daycare, the building which the tree sits in front of.

One of her kids got the idea.

"One of my five- or six-year-old boys came up to me and said, 'it's too bad we can't do an angel tree like we see in the stores.' And I thought, well, we can. We can do our version of an angel tree," said Washburn.

So, kids started donating clothes, shoes, and toys they don't need.

They know there are other kids out there who just might need them.

Those items were put in bags and hung from the tree so anybody could take one if they wanted.

"Oh yes," said Washburn. "The eyes of a child at Christmas time. I want to look through them always."

To a child, it's not about who won the election, or lost, or even what color another child is or where they're from. It's just the innocence of helping.

"There isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank the world that I get to be in my job," said Washburn.

The kids love it when they look out the daycare window and see someone take a hat or something and put it on.

"They're so excited, 'look Miss Becky, it's happening!" said Washburn with a laugh.

It'll keep happening.

The need is still there even after Christmas, so the tree will stay the Blessing Tree a bit longer.

"My son said to me this morning, 'you didn't know how many people you would affect by that silly little tree,'" said Washburn. "There are so many little people and then other people that we don't even know that are benefitting. Something that just came by, 'oh we should do this,' turned out so amazing."

Alex Cabrero

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