SEEKONK, Mass. (WPRI) — A Seekonk business is getting into the spirit of the season by making sure everyone feels at home for the holidays.
Heritage Tree and Arborist Services announced it’s starting a new tradition, offering free Christmas trees to families coping with childhood illnesses. The company said the holidays should be a time of joy and happiness, but they can be stressful for these families.
“We’d like to help families out that are suffering, maybe with some childhood illnesses,” owner Michael Gilligan said. “Whether it be COVID-related, RSV, cancer … anything to help a family that maybe has a sick kid or child, just try to relieve a little bit of stress this time of year.”
With that in mind, Gilligan decided it was a perfect way to do some good during the holidays.
“Being a tree company, I thought it was fitting to donate trees back to the community,” he said.
Gilligan said he understands the stress of finding a Christmas tree and hopes he can give families one less thing to worry about.
“I think that if families are dealing with certain things, it’s just one less stress they need this time of year,” Gilligan said.
Heritage Tree partnered with another local business, Oakdale Farms, to secure the trees, and it’s also working with Hasbro Children’s Hospital to contact potential families in need.
According to Gilligan, there are currently about 30 trees ready to be donated, but he said he hopes to see that number grow.
“We’ve been talking with Oakdale Farms a lot. They’ve been helping us out with tracking down trees and we hope to eventually make our target 100 trees a year and maybe more,” he said.
Families can apply or be nominated to receive a tree and Heritage will deliver it directly to their home, free of charge.
“We hope to make it a lasting tradition and do some next year and the year after and so on and so forth,” Gilligan added. “The trees might not be that big, but we hope that it brings big joy to local families.”
To apply or nominate a family, contact Heritage Tree at 774-991-3566 or fill out an application form online. The company asks that applicants fill out all information and include the request for a Christmas tree in the “Service Details” section.