Giving Tree is inspiring messages of thanks in Village

Giving Tree is inspiring messages of thanks in Village
People are writing messages about what they’re thankful for on paper leaves and attaching them to the giving tree in Carlsbad. Photo by Ellen Wright

CARLSBAD—In an effort to create personal connection in Carlsbad Village, the Carlsbad Village Association set up the “Giving Tree.”

Throughout November, visitors were encouraged to write what they’re thankful for on paper maple leaves. They put them in a mailbox to be hung before Thanksgiving on a tree in front of Viz Art Ink on the corner of Grand Avenue and State Street.

According to Katie Gibson, project manager at Urban Place Consulting Group,

130 people participated in the display.

Nicole Lazar, communications specialist for the Village, said they were impressed with the community’s involvement.

“The response has been great,” Lazar said. ”We didn’t think we’d get that big of a turnout but everything surprises us in Carlsbad.”

She said the idea came from the Thanksgiving tradition where everyone goes around the table saying what he or she is thankful for. Most of the messages are anonymous, which Lazar said, hasn’t led to any problems.

Throughout November, visitors to Carlsbad Village are encouraged to write messages of gratitude on paper leaves. The leaves will be on display through early next week.  Photo by Ellen Wright

Throughout November, visitors to Carlsbad Village are encouraged to write messages of gratitude on paper leaves. The leaves will be on display through early next week. Photo by Ellen Wright

“Everyone has been putting great uplifting messages, so it’s been really wonderful,” Lazar said.

Gibson, who hung the leaves, said not a single leaf needed censorship.

“All the leaves were filled out, none of the leaves were negative. I think these days it’s really hard to have faith that society will do the right thing, and it’s a really small project to point that out, but they did the right thing,” Gibson said.

Another goal of the project was to create a thought-provoking seasonal display.

“It was thought-provoking and got people inspired to want to give and give back, because that’s the culture of Carlsbad Village,” Lazar said.

While stringing the leaves along the trunks of the trees, Gibson said, people stopped to read the messages and were inspired.

“Everyone was really excited and they were laughing at a lot of the leaves, because there’s a lot of them that are really cute and fun,” Gibson said. “It makes people happy to really see people put themselves out there.”

Lazar said the response was so huge that they had difficulty getting all the leaves onto the right tree.

“They had to be low enough so people could read what people wrote,” Lazar said.

Gibson said she was impressed with the messages from the children, who said they were thankful for “my heart” and the “life we live,” among other things.

“They were really profound from the kids,” Gibson said.

The leaves will be up until early next week.

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