Holiday tree meant to provide items for Kokomo residents in need stolen

KOKOMO, Ind. – In the season of giving and the spirit of the holidays, one Kokomo family decided to give a helping hand to those who need it most.

“You see people walking around our neighborhood in the middle of winter with flip flops on and it is not by choice. It is just all that they have,” said Kokomo resident Micah Schroeter.

So, Schroeter decided to make a positive change in her neighborhood, planting the holiday spirit in her front yard in the form of a 10-foot-tall artificial "giving tree." Her family and neighbors help fill the tree with clothing and supplies for the winter months. The items are free to anyone who might need a little help.

“We have baby hats; we even have little sets of pajamas back here, and coats and jackets and swaddles. The first day that we set it up, we had it full of the baggy things and it was wiped out that night. So, there is definitely a need for it,” said Schroeter.

People kept coming back for more until the tree was stolen.

“I was like….where is the tree? The tree is gone,” said Schroeter.

The Schroeter’s replaced the giving tree, but are upset that someone would try and steal the Christmas spirit, ruining it for other people who need help.

“They have to answer for what they do and we just have to answer for what we were called to do and that is to help our community,” said Schroeter.

Even though the thieves got away with the giving tree, the family says they will never let anyone steal their holiday spirit and will continue helping others.  Along with the giving tree, the family also has a community closet and pantry that they fill as well.

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