Ornaments (like these shown) are free for the taking on the branches of the Community Tree, located in the front lobby of The Coffee Pot in Greenville. Each ornament has two sides –one which invites residents to give to a local non-profit, charity, or business, and another which suggests a “free” gift of kindness from the heart. (Carol Marsh photo)

Making Room for ‘Small Things’

‘Community Tree’ promotes kindness, giving back

Years ago, when my son, Clay, was an inquisitive preschooler, I recall reading books with him that we had picked out from our local public library. One of our favorites was a beautifully illustrated version of A. A. Milne’s classic story, The House at Pooh Corner, which brought to life such loveable characters as Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, and Christopher Robin, among many others. 

Through the gifted words of a great children’s author, many life lessons were imparted about love, life, kindness, and being thankful as we travelled together across the pages of The Hundred Acre Wood. While my son is now all “grown up” (and my hair is fashionably gray), I fondly remember those wise “Pooh-isms” which have withstood the passage of time: “Sometimes,” said Pooh, “The smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”

During the holiday season, we are especially reminded just how much those “small things” can really matter in our community. As residents take a break from their holiday shopping downtown, they might notice the new “Community Tree” located in the front entrance of The Coffee Pot, located at 537 S. Broadway, in Greenville, and wonder what it is all about. 

This year, in Darke County, a few students (who wish to remain anonymous) have made it their priority to encourage everyone to make an impact through the simple kindness of “small things.”  

Encouraged by their parents to consider what it means to be a part of the Darke County community, the students looked for a way to become more personally involved during the holiday season, and as a result, the “Community Tree” evolved. Each student asked local non-profits, church ministries, and businesses how they could help with the “small things” that were needed throughout the year. 

Each ornament on the Community Tree has two sides – one requesting a few small items needed by the non-profit organization, ministry, or charity (for a minimal cost) and a “free” gift of kindness (such as opening a door, saying “thank you,” or making a card for someone, to name a few). All Darke County residents are invited to stop by The Coffee Pot and take and ornament (or two) from the Community Tree. 

“Sometimes, we underestimate the power of one gesture, gift, or conversation,” said one Community Tree supporter. “The ornaments on the tree are a way that gives everyone an opportunity to be involved.”

The Community Tree will remain up throughout the holiday season, until January 1, 2022. 

The ‘Community Tree,’ located in the front lobby of The Coffee Pot, located at 537 S. Broadway in Greenville, was the inspiration of a few Darke County students, and invites everyone to make room for the “small things” of kindness, charity and giving back to the community this holiday season. (Carol Marsh photo)

Carol Marsh / Correspondent

Carol Marsh is a human interest/features writer who enjoys telling the stories of Darke County's people, places, and events, both past and present. She enjoys music, scrapbooking, reading Jane Austen, loves cooking (almost as much as scrapbooking) and is a homeschool mom of two.

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