Taking what started as a hobby and turning it into a way to give back to the community, a Highlands Ranch resident has worked over the last three years to donate homemade Christmas trees to public safety responders and local healthcare workers.
Bill Givan said three years ago he signed up for a pottery class at the Highland Ranch South Ridge Recreation Center. After making several items, Givan said he just took to making small Christmas trees.
“I really don’t know why these just spoke to me,” he said. “It started as something for me to do and for whatever reason I just started making them and kept making them.”
In 2019, Givan said he was getting compliments for his work and people were telling him he should do something with the pieces. Rather than sell them, Givan said he wanted to make someone feel happy, which led to him donating them to Children’s Hospital Colorado.
In 2020, Givan said, the country was going through tough times with the COVID-19 pandemic, leading him to donate the trees to emergency responders and healthcare workers.
“I really just want to bring a smile to someone’s face,” Givan said. “It’s been a rough few years. Showing a little appreciation and making some feel important is really all I’m attempting to do here.”
This year was no different. Givan worked with members of his pottery class throughout the year to make dozens of small ceramic trees that are equipped with blinking and color-changing lights. Each tree is then packaged with a “nice” message, he said.
Making the rounds, Givan has donated the trees to local stations in the South Metro Fire District in Highlands Ranch and Centennial and at UCHealth Hospitals and on Dec. 15, he gave the trees to healthcare workers at Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree.
The trees are distributed differently by each organization. Givan said last year UCHealth used them to decorate nurses’ stations throughout the hospitals. At the end of the season, the trees were raffled off.
“I wanted to continue giving the trees to healthcare workers this year because they are truly stressed out dealing with COVID,” Givan said. “A lot of them are telling me it is even more stressful this year than last year. I hope this small gesture does something nice.”
Givan said it is important to note that he has not done this himself. Members of the pottery class at the Highlands Ranch Southridge Recreation Center have pitched in to make the trees.