A typical Christmas tree is covered with ornaments, the more the better. This special tree, however, breaks all the rules. The more bare this tree gets, the happier everyone becomes.
The “Tree of Love” is a collaboration between the Bloomfield’s assisted living and nursing homes as well as the bakery. This tree adorns ornaments with a number and a wishlist attached. Each number is paired with someone living at one of these homes.
The Bloomfield Bakery has been home to the “Tree of Love” for about five years now. When owners, Pam and Deland Reynolds, took over the bakery, they wanted to get involved in Toys For Tots.
There are many programs in place that focus on giving presents to children through the county such as the Giving Tree at St. Marks Lutheran Church.
According to Pam Reynolds, she felt there was some overlap and both her and her husband wanted to help another cause.
Reynolds believes the tree originated at the Quickstop. When it closed, the tree went to Tier One Bank. The Reynolds took the responsibility of the tree after the bank closed.
They were extremely happy to be able to help the folks from the nursing home, who maybe don’t have family left in town or are just in need of some things.
The tags have suggestions for each person ranging from fun little things like a book or hard candy to the necessities like socks and sweatshirts.
“A popular suggestion for the ladies is a hairdresser gift certificate to get their hair done,” Reynolds said.
Good Samaritan takes the time to ask the residents what they are in need of and provides the lists and then the bakery makes the ornaments that adorn the tree. Once someone takes a tag they are asked to leave contact information. Once they purchase a gift they may bring the gift back to the bakery.
“A couple people asked about the tree last week, before we had it set up,” Reynolds said. Bakery visitors were inquiring about the tree a week before it was set up and showing interest.
She noted how this is a good sign.
“Pretty much every year all the tags are gone,” she said.
Youth groups are the largest contributor in taking the ornaments and providing gifts but there are many donors in the community.
“Someone came from Michael Foods one year and took a bunch of them,” Reynolds said.
According to her, she hung over 40 ornaments on the tree meaning there are over 40 numbers on the tree to be taken.
For anyone interested in helping give a gift, the ornaments are now available displayed on the tree at the Bakery. Grab a tag with a wishlist, leave your name and bring a gift back to the bakery by Dec. 18.
When all the gifts make their way back to the bakery and get delivered to Good Sam, they get to celebrate with Santa Day. Santa visits to hand out all the gifts received.