Lester Park Elementary Students Deliver Holiday Joy

20th Year of The Giving Tree Project

DULUTH, Minn. — Sue Baker is a Kindergarten teacher from Duluth’s Lester Park Elementary School and she can tell you how the tradition of students delivering trees to hospital patients and others began. It was an idea her son had come up with 2o years ago. “He  (Robbie) was the one who came up with the project’ said Sue Baker.” “I just asked him what he wanted to do for a family giving project and he said give trees to patients because his younger brother was in the hospital about two years earlier.”

Now 20 years later, Sue’s son Robbie was with his mother as the tradition continued.

Robbie commented, “This is amazing, it’s great that these kids have so much empathy in them. Such a desire to give back to the community.”

Students from Lester Park School where Robbie went and his mother still teaches … were visiting hospitals and the Ecumen Memory Care Unit with their trees and their smiles.
” It was so great. We saw them  (the students) coming in the door with those trees and it brought smiles to our faces so when we brought them into our unit it brightened everything up,” Courtney Steele-Schuler said.

One student from each classroom brought small trees decorated with ornaments that had been made by the students. The kids were excited to tell everyone what they had added to the trees.

The adults who had gathered to see the students and receive the trees thoroughly enjoyed the visit, as well as the trees they brought and the kids singing.
When the students returned to school, each one had the responsibility of telling their classmates about what they had seen, done and experienced on this mission of spreading kindness.


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