A Tree For The Holidays
The Rutgers Community Center, operated by NYC Housing Authority, on the Lower East Side participates in the Winter Wishes NYC Cares Secret Santa program where participating children express their Christmas wishes through letters to Santa. Xin Huang, a 9-year old girl, who lives in the nearby area and participates in their afterschool program, wrote the following:
Dear Secret Santa,
For Christmas, I want a small tree. A small tree that could grow up to a big tree. I want a tree because when I'm bored, I could sit under it. I will also water the tree every day so it won't die and keep living.
The Rutgers Community Center identified a good spot for a tree on their grounds and recently contacted NYC Parks who fulfilled the wish by planting a Japanese evergreen tree that looks perfect for the Christmas season and is very adaptable to the urban environment.
Huang was thrilled when she saw the tree. She said, "Years before, we always get toys and dolls, and then, when we play for a few days or a lot of days, we get bored and we put it aside. So every day, if I get bored, I could go out and look at how tall it grew and water it."
On Wednesday, November 27, NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White visited with Huang at the Rutgers Community Center. Commissioner White said to NY1 at the time, "We're very excited, and talking to her today, and I know she's going to be taking care of the tree through the wonderful after-school program that she has here."
Huang and her family were also given tickets to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.
For helping to facilitate the granting of this Christmas wish, special thanks to Lakisha Smith of the Rutgers Community Center, Chris and Harry Quadrino of the Winter Wishes NYC Cares program, and the NYC Parks Central Forestry and Citywide Nursery team.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
While tree shopping:
Charlie Brown: This little green one here seems to need a home.
Linus Van Pelt: I don't know, Charlie Brown. Remember what Lucy said? This doesn't seem to fit the modern spirit.
Charlie Brown: I don't care. We'll decorate it and it'll be just right for our play. Besides, I think it needs me.
A Charlie Brown Christmas