The Caring Tree grows gifts for the community

Fort Mill ECA team dressed in their Christmas gear

The EarthChoice Ambassadors have developed a new species of tree.

First discovered in Fort Mill in 2014, the Caring Tree (Latin name: Arbus providio communitas) could easily be confused with a typical festive tree at first glance. It looks like a fir tree, and it’s decorated for the holidays. On closer inspection, the difference becomes evident: Each handmade paper ornament is a gift suggestion for a local charity.


The Caring Tree was on display in the lobbies of our Corporate offices in Montreal and Fort Mill, from December 1 to 17. Over the course of the campaign, the ornaments slowly disappeared as employees removed them, and then shopped for the gift indicated. The decorations then reappeared as tags on the growing piles of presents that would be distributed to the less fortunate.

In Fort Mill, the charities included a temporary care home for children, an animal shelter and a group that provides guidance for youth and adults facing difficult circumstances. Employees could also pay $5 to wear holiday attire to the office for a day. The money raised went to a regional trail network that reaches more than 2 million people in the surrounding area.

The Montreal team donated the presents, each valued between $15 and $25, to a local charity that holds a “Santa Day” for underprivileged children. Employees also contributed money and non-perishable food items towards the same organization’s food bank.

Altogether, the initiative produced much fruit. From puzzles to pasta to pet beds, there was abundance of generosity shown for the communities where we are rooted. Thank you to all who participated!


Close to 600 items were collected for five different organizations in Fort Mill!


Véronique Hackenjos and Linda Bélanger collecting money for the Montreal Caring Tree


53 gifts for boys and girls plus 35 boxes of food were collected in Montreal.