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Liberty & Vine: Cultivating charity through annual Giving Tree

Charity Cultivation
Charity Cultivation

Liberty & Vine Country Store in downtown Billings, Montana, recognized for its unique mix of antiques and fresh items, has been an emblem of generosity through its annual Giving Tree project. For five years, the project has benefited local cancer patients and has transformed community donations into practical help for those fighting the disease.

The Giving Tree project involved customers purchasing items represented by tags on the store’s Christmas tree, aimed to fulfill the specific needs of the local cancer patients. Returned gifts were then prepared for direct distribution to the patients, a gesture that has brought encouragement and hope in the festive season over the years.

Liberty & Vine has thus steeped itself in business and ushered in a culture of charity. Their initiative serves as an unparalleled beacon for other companies.

Cultivating community support through annual Giving Tree

They also offer individual distributors an opportunity to display unique items encompassing various products, thus fostering local entrepreneurship and extending the shopping experience.

The owner, Amy Pawlowski, started the tradition by putting the last angel made by Sherri Johnson, a store seller and scrap metal artist, on the Christmas tree after Johnson’s death. This sparked significant generosity in the community, resulting in a diverse collection of gift items filling the tree each holiday season, thus keeping the spirit of giving alive.

The giving tree symbolizes hope and compassion, fulfilling cancer patients’ wishes at the Frontier Cancer Center during the holiday celebration. The exchange of ornaments and gifts reassures individuals, especially those battling cancer, that they are not alone in their struggle, thus strengthening community bonds and enriching the holiday spirit.

A beneficiary with stage four throat cancer, Shelle Greene, returned as a wish granter the subsequent year, embodying the importance of community support during difficult times. This move further emphasizes the power of community support and signifies that adversity can breed profound compassion and unity.

Despite the projected closure of Liberty & Vine due to Pawlowski’s upcoming retirement, she remains hopeful that the giving tree tradition will persist elsewhere in Billings. The hope is that this initiative, born out of the memory of a departed friend, will continue to thrive, embodying the spirit of goodwill, generosity, and vibrant holiday festivities.

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