Free on a Tree movement lets it all hang out to keep needy people warm

Gill Gifford Senior journalist
Participants in the Free on a Tree movement with some of the winter clothing that was left on trees on July 31 2021 for people in need of a warm item.
Participants in the Free on a Tree movement with some of the winter clothing that was left on trees on July 31 2021 for people in need of a warm item.
Image: Supplied

Hundreds of people scored free winter clothing on Saturday as the Free on a Tree initiative saw dozens of trees countrywide strung with gifts of warm clothing.

Groups of participants who collected donated winter clothing put tickets on the items, hung them on trees and walked away, leaving them for people in need.

The venture was the brainchild of Madeleen van den Berg of Germiston, in Gauteng, who came up with the idea three weeks ago after seeing Facebook pictures of a similar campaign in Turkey.

She contacted a few friends with her idea, they were keen, and the Free on a Tree initiative took off and spread across the country.

Free on a Tree, or Baadjies aan Bome, saw hundreds of volunteers decorating their chosen trees with clean clothing tagged with a simple message: “Here’s something warm, just for you to get through the winter. Take this item if you need it. Free on a tree.”

Van den Berg said: “The Free on a Tree movement was a massive success throughout SA today  Thousands of jackets and clothing articles were handed out. We had awesome results.”

TimesLIVE

Participants in the Free on a Tree movement with some of the winter clothing left on trees around SA on July 31 2021 for people in need.
Participants in the Free on a Tree movement with some of the winter clothing left on trees around SA on July 31 2021 for people in need.
Image: Supplied
The message attached to Free on a Tree gifts on July 31 2021.
The message attached to Free on a Tree gifts on July 31 2021.
Image: Supplied

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