‘In the event you may help it’s best to’: Arborist elevating donations for Saskatoon Meals Financial institution

Every winter things slow down in the tree care industry, and the same goes for Gavin Peters and his company Sterling Tree Services.

However, Peters decided to make good use of the extra time and offered a special service at the beginning of January.

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For a simple donation to the Saskatoon Food Bank, Peters will come to the residents ‘homes and remove the residents’ Christmas trees and take them to the city’s local composting sites.

“My industry slows down a lot in winter,” explains Peters. “So I was just looking for something I could do to give something back.”

Peters is offering the pick-up service for the third time, and although the first two years have been successful, this post-Christmas cleanup actually exceeded his expectations.

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Sterling Tree Services collected over 120 trees on just two scheduled collection days.

“I was a little surprised to see that (Friday) was as busy as Sunday,” chuckled Peters. “It will take a whole eight hours.”

“It’s actually funny,” continued Peters. “There were some people who took part, who didn’t even have to pick up their trees, they just wanted to join in.”

Not only is the large collection of trees that Peters piled up in the composting areas, but his shop is also being overrun, albeit with an abundance of food donations.

“I don’t have a lot of space to work in my workshop at the moment,” he says. “I’ll be happy to bring all of these donations to the board.”

The large load will also present Peters with an unprecedented challenge in fundraising.

“I think we might have to bring the trailer to transport food there,” he explained. “There’s a lot in there.”

An exciting prospect for which the Saskatoon Food Bank is grateful.

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“What a nice thing to see,” said Laurie O’Connor, executive director of Saskatoon Food Bank. “He was able to spend the time raising donations to think about the things that are most needed in our organization.”

However, Peters only credits the public who turned to him to apply for the service.

“Ninety percent of the participants are a bag or a box of things, some people are a few things,” he explained. “It’s amazing how generous the people have been.”

While this is not his first year of providing the service, it is the first year that he has posted his filing to the board instead of simply leaving it as an anonymous donation, which gives their team the ability to “everyone Hands ‘to have -on-deck’ to receive the broadcast.

When asked about the decision to start the service, Peters found the answer easy.

“If you can help, you should,” he said. “That’s how I was raised.”

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