Mattson Funeral Home & Cremation Service has a special kind of tree outside their building this winter: a Warming Tree. Community members can stop by the tree and grab a bag that contains a hat and pair of gloves or mittens. The items were knitted by the members of the funeral home’s Busy Hands for Love knitting group, which meets at the funeral home once a month. The group is facilitated by Kelly Haus, Aftercare Coordinator at Mattson, and they have been meeting for over 15 years.
The funeral home posted information about the Warming Tree on their Facebook page, and they have replenished the tree several times in the past month. A local church donated “need” bags containing granola bars, socks, toothbrushes, etc. to put on the tree as well.
Jessica Dukich, one of the funeral directors at Mattson, got the idea while on a family vacation in Wisconsin, and she knew wanted to find a way to bring it to her own community. The staff at Mattson is always looking for ways to reach those in need and show they care. Funeral director Susan Hutchison says, “Not just as a funeral home, but more so as human beings, we feel it is our responsibility to look out for and care for others. Our community knows our hearts are genuine, and thus they willingly and lovingly entrust their loved ones to us.”