King’s Jewelry, located in historic downtown Plymouth, has made a name for itself during the holiday season with their annual “Giving Tree.” Gloria Lorenz, manager of King’s Jewelry for over 30 years, came up with the idea last year.
The Plymouth Chamber of Commerce puts out Christmas trees in front of downtown businesses every year and also puts up holiday decorations and lights. Local businesses are free to decorate the trees as they wish. Lorenz explains, “The Chamber puts the trees out every year, and we are a Chamber member, and we as King’s Jewelry decorate them every year. I figured why not decorate our tree with something people might be able to use. The Giving Tree is just that. We put items that people might need for the cold weather out on the tree, such as hats, gloves, scarves, socks, everything along that order. A lot of people seem to be in need of socks, even just the white heavy socks, it doesn’t need to be anything fancy. If anyone is in need, they can go out and take something off the tree. People can just take the items, there are clothespins holding them all up.”
Lorenz states,“We are trying to get the word out there so that if someone happens to know someone who might need something for the cold weather, they can come by and pick it up or the person can come and pick something up for that person in need. If they are feeling really generous they can donate to the tree. We have both men’s and women’s, and we have kid’s stuff too. I try to put a lot of kid’s stuff out there right now with little hats and gloves and Christmas socks and things right now. We do take adult things as well. There are also a few toiletry bags out there for people. I’m not sure if anyone has noticed, but people donated these toiletry bags last year full of shampoos, full of toothbrushes and toothpastes, it looked like a lot of travel stuff you might buy. Then these people kind of put it all together in these little toiletry bags for people that are in need of some of those items. We still had some of those bags from last year so I already put them out.”
When it comes to community involvement, Lorenz couldn’t be happier with the support. Lorenz states, “We have a very nice turnout of people coming and donating things to put on the tree. It went really well last year. The only downside to last year was that because we had such good weather at the end of January, they ended up taking the tree out a bit earlier than normal. Our tree did not get to stay up as long as we might have wanted it to. They have definitely got to pull it up when they can before the ground is frozen though, so we understand.”
Lorenz explains, “Of course, the Giving Tree is kind of iffy with the weather. If it ends up freezing I definitely don’t put as many things like toiletry bags out since it will get ruined. However with the 40’s and 50’s we have been having I’ve been putting them out. We also want people to know that this Giving Tree is not just for people to prepare for winter. Last year, the Lincoln Junior High that’s right over there, some kids saw someone who needed a scarf. Whether they have one at home or not, that doesn’t matter, if you forgot it at home and you forgot it please take something and keep warm. It was good to see that people can really appreciate it.”
Jillian Smith, a member of the community, states that, “I cannot tell you how much I appreciated the Giving Tree last year. I was running late to work and I was absolutely freezing. I had forgotten gloves at the house and was walking about 10 blocks to work since my car wouldn’t start in the polar vortex. I saw this Christmas tree with winter stuff on it and I thought oh that’s cute I wish I could take it. Then I saw the sign and I realized I could take it! I got some warm gloves that I still use to this day. I donated a few pairs of gloves and a few hats in gratitude. I think it’s really great that King’s Jewelry is doing this for people and I’m really proud to be a part of a community where giving is the true spirit of Christmas.”
Lorenz concludes, “Hopefully we just want to get awareness out there to people that it is indeed there and that if they know of someone who might be in need of any of the things on the tree they can let them know or bring it to them. We are taking donations from people and we will keep putting them out.”
King’s Jewelry and the Giving Tree can be found at 202 N Michigan Street in downtown Plymouth.